INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Most full-time college students in Indiana do not graduate on time,
according to a new report that looks at whether people are completing
college and how long it’s taking them.
released Tuesday, places Indiana University in Bloomington at the top of
overall completion rates at about 83 percent. Ivy Tech Community College is
at the bottom with about 28 percent. But only about half of IU Bloomington
students graduate on time, and less than 4 percent graduate on-time from Ivy
completed with data from the state Commission for Higher Education and the
National Student Clearinghouse, factors in students who transfer and
graduate from another university or take longer to get a degree. Numbers
reflect student data from 2007 to 2013 in community colleges and from 2005
to 2013 for other institutions.
Commissioner Teresa Lubbers said on-time graduation should be a priority for
factor into state higher education performance-based funding, which is
recommended by the commission. A higher on-time completion rate means more
and universities now offer incentives to get students out the door faster.
IU froze tuition rates for sophomores on track to complete their degrees,
and Indiana State University will pay tuition for students who meet strict
criteria but don’t get their degree on time.
four-year universities, such as IU and Purdue University in West Lafayette,
come out on top in terms of on-time graduation. Ivy Tech, where many
students are older and work full-time jobs on top of taking classes, doesn’t
fare as well, President Tom Snyder said.
commission objectives are really important and we’re striving to do that,
but when you look at our performance versus four-year regional campuses,
we’re pretty competitive,” Snyder said.
State Rep. Matt
Pierce, D- Bloomington, said more emphasis should be placed on helping to
keep students who already have a few years of college under their belt from
dropping out instead of focusing on students who take one or two extra years
to get their diploma.
Students who take
extra time to deal with mental illness, a family death or a change of major
end up paying the price, Pierce said. Students lose financial aid after four
years, which Pierce said also compounds issues for students working
part-time to pay for their education.
an issue there, but you have to step back and look at what’s causing it,”
said Pierce, who also works as a professor at IU in Bloomington. “I don’t
think (members of the Commission for Higher Education) have a good handle on
the root issue.”
The increased cost
to students is another reason the commission wants students to finish on
“The reality is for
those students who are receiving financial aid, it runs out in four years,”