Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2010 Cohort

Focuses on the six-year outcomes for students who began postsecondary education in fall 2010, toward the end of the Great Recession. The previous national college completions report (, published in November 2015, studied the cohort of students who entered college in fall 2009. The report showed the continuing effects of the recent recession: the cohort was larger than that of the previous year, had more adult learners, more students in community colleges and for-profit institutions, and more part-time students. Although the official end of the Great Recession is considered to be June 2009 (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2010), its effects on employment, wages, and family finances have lingered far beyond, impacting students, colleges, and states to this day. The cohort in this year’s report, still at slightly over 2.9 million, stayed nearly unchanged in overall size, but there was a marked shift in enrollment destinations: two-year public institutions and four-year for-profit institutions decreased by 2 percent and 11 percent, respectively; while four-year public institutions increased by 3 percent. The cohort also had slightly more traditional-age students compared to the previous year.

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U.S. Department of Education

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