New data from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education shows students are completing college sooner than in years past. But completion rates for minority students are still behind those of their white classmates.
Overall, 1 in 3 Indiana college students graduates on-time.
At four-year campuses, rates have increased about 10 percent in the past five years. Now, 51 percent of students at those institutions graduate on time, according to the 2017 Indiana College Completion Report.
The top most-improved campuses since 2011 were Indiana University East, Purdue University West Lafayette, Ball State University, the University of Southern Indiana and IU Kokomo.
Indiana for Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers says colleges have stepped up their assistance to help students complete on time but more improvements are needed.
“These are stubborn numbers to move, but we must accelerate our rate of improvement to close the achievement gap and meet Indiana’s goal of 60 percent of Hoosiers completing education beyond high school by 2025,” she said in a statement.
Two-year campuses, like Ivy Tech, see only 10 percent of students graduate on time – but that is an improvement by about 6 percentage points in the past five years.
But black and Hispanic students are still lagging behind. Only a quarter graduate on time at 4-year colleges, according to the report.
According to the report, a “significant factor” in the gap is the number of students who don’t complete their first year of college or return after the first year to start the second year as compared to white students – 67 percent versus 78 percent.
The Higher Education Commission reports it may miss an upcoming goal in its mission to close the achievement gap of minority students by 2025.