No one has accused me of cutting Virginia’s institutions of higher education any slack, but I do give credit where credit is due. And now is such a time: Our public universities do a superior job of making sure not only that students graduate, but graduate within reasonably quickly.
According to a new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the average six-year graduation rate for students starting at a four-year public institution in Virginia was 76.35% — the highest of any state save New Hampshire and Iowa.
Said Governor Bob McDonnell in a press release: “This report highlights the impressive work that our institutions of higher education are doing to assist Virginians in college competition and retention. I commend our colleges and universities on their efforts to increase these completion rates and help the Commonwealth meet the goals of the Top Jobs legislation of an additional 100,000 new degrees.”
Nice to see a bit of good news. While the higher ed sector may be institutionally corrupt nationally, putting its own interests ahead of its students, that seems not to be the case with Virginia’s public colleges and universities. Our public institutions still need to reform themselves — tuitions are still too expensive, costs are still too high, and online education still looms as a competitive threat — but they have fouled their nests less than their peers in other states. Congratulations!