College Completion Data
Time is the enemy of college completion.

Sources and Methodology

The data presented in our 2011 state profiles were provided by the 33 participating states themselves, using the Complete College America/National Governors Association Common Completion Metrics. National findings in each category were based on the calculated medians of the state data.

More than 10 million students enroll in public institutions annually in the states whose data are captured in these findings – a clear majority of American students in public colleges and universities today. While we recognize that there may be some variance in the data higher education institutions provided to their states, the significant number of students represented means that the most alarming trends can be traced across all of the states represented in these findings.

Additional data sources include:

Attewell, P. and Lavin, D. “The Other 75%: College Education Beyond the Elite.” Weinberg Seminar Remarks. April 15, 2008. Data are from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study.

Carnevale, A., Smith, N. and Strohl, J. “Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018.” Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. June, 2010.

National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education System, Fall 2009. www.higheredinfo.org

National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education System, 2009–10 Graduation Rates. www.higheredinfo.org

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, Public Use Microdata Sample, 2006–08.