Graduation rates of colleges are important because if your student doesn’t graduate in four years, it will cost more money. Note the graduation rate of the colleges your student is considering. Less than 1/3 of all public and non-profit four-year colleges have a 4-year graduation rate of 50% or better. What does this mean to your student? Each additional year will cost more money. Not only will the additional year be an added expense, it will also take money away from your student. No salary for an additional year, no retirement for an additional year, no health insurance for an additional year. A low graduation rate usually means that the college is over-crowded, and students cannot get the classes they need to fulfill their requirements. You can find graduation rates at

Another reason graduation rates are important is because if students are not graduating, it could be a sign that the college is not providing the experience or education that the student was looking for. According to Fastweb, “The graduation or completion rate is the 5th most important indicator that you will get a quality education at the institution.”

One way of increasing the chance that your student graduates within the 4-year timeframe is for them to take AP classes while in high school that will transfer for college credit. They will need to score a 3 or higher on the AP exams in order to receive credit at most colleges or universities. Additionally, students can take classes at a local community college while in high school to earn additional college credits.

  1. By taking dual enrollment classes while still in high school a student saves on the cost of a college class. In a lot of cases, you can start college at a Sophomore level and save a year of tuition. Taking the AP tests with a score of three or better will give students the opportunity to skip several basic college classes. By choosing either option, you will save both time and money. For more information on dual enrollment, you can find what you need from the National Center for Education Statistics.

You need to be strategic in deciding which colleges to apply to and be informed of the graduation rates to know how to help your student graduate on time.

For additional resources on navigating the college admission process, please visit

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