Report: Texas public universities ‘dropout factories’

Aug 18, 2016 by

Texas Southern University ranked the worst out of the report’s findings.

College students in Texas have just a 40 percent chance of graduating within six years, according to a recent report by a Washington think tank that calls Texas public universities “dropout factories.”

Graduation rates at Texas colleges are below the national average, according to the report, by Washington research group Third Way, which analyzed U.S. Department of Education data. Nationally, college students have a 50/50 shot of graduating within six years, according to the report.

And at a time when students across the nation are grappling with historic levels of debt, the report finds that they are having a harder time finding jobs that will pay them enough to dig themselves out of the hole. At the average Texas university, one-third of students earn less than $25,000 a year six years after they enroll.

Unlike high schools — which can face federal penalties for graduating less than two-thirds of their seniors — colleges aren’t held to any such standards by the federal government. If they were, the report says, 85 percent of U.S. public colleges would be flagged for possible intervention.

Houston is home to some of the schools with the lowest graduation rates in the state — and even in the nation. Those include the University of Houston-Downtown, where just 13 percent of students earn a degree within six years, and Texas Southern University, which the report calls one of the nation’s “worst offenders.” TSU, which has the eighth-lowest completion rate of any four-year college in the nation, also charges students more than the national average, according to the report.

The report does not take into account students who earn degrees after taking more than six years of college, however. At schools like both UH-Downtown and TSU, many students work their way through college and take more than six years to graduate.

Source: Report: Texas public universities ‘dropout factories’ – Houston Chronicle

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