According the 2018 College Completion Report released by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education today, more Hoosier students are graduating college than ever. In addition, on-time college completion rates are improving across all four and two-year public campuses statewide, and extended graduation rates are increasing at most Indiana public campuses.

“It is encouraging to see Indiana’s significant progress in moving the needle on college completion,” said Indiana Commissioner of Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “These successes are a direct reflection of the hard work happening at public campuses across the state, as well as the support of the General Assembly.”

More Hoosiers are graduating college overall

Nearly 40 percent of all Hoosier college students (38.5 percent) graduate on time – an increase of 13.9 percentage points over the past five years and 4 percentage points in one year.

Nearly 60 percent of all Hoosier college students (59.2 percent) complete college within an extended time frame – an increase of 2.8 percentage points in five years and 5 percentage points in one year.

College completion rates are improving across all Indiana campus types

Nearly half (45 percent) of all Hoosier students who attend a public four-year campus graduate on time — an improvement of 10.9 percentage points over the past five years. Additionally, 68 percent of all Hoosier students who attended a public four-year campus graduate within the extended time frame.

Indiana’s two-year campuses are seeing improvement in on-time graduation rates as well. Overall, 12.7 percent of students are graduating within four years – an improvement of 9 percentage points over the past five years. In addition, 32.2 percent of students at two-year campuses are graduating within six years.

The public campuses with the overall highest on-time completion are

  • Indiana University Bloomington (on-time: 66.7 percent; extended: 83.8 percent),
  • Purdue West Lafayette (on-time: 58.9 percent; extended: 84.2 percent)
  • Ball State University (on-time: 52.8 percent; extended: 73.9 percent).

Within the past year, campuses that experienced the most improvement in on-time graduation rates are Purdue University Northwest, Ball State University, Indiana University South Bend, Indiana University East, and University of Southern Indiana.

Recent reforms delivering big gains for 21st Century Scholars

On-time graduation rates for 21st Century Scholars are improving at a greater rate than all other student populations. The improvement can be attributed in large part to the state financial aid reform enacted by Indiana lawmakers in 2013, which required students to complete at least 30 credit hours each calendar year to stay on track for on-time graduation. Since then, the on-time graduation rate for Scholars has improved by 13.8 percentage points.

21st Century Scholars are more likely to graduate on time than their low-income peers. Throughout all Indiana public colleges, 30 percent of Scholars graduate on time compared to 24 percent of other low-income students.

21st Century Scholars are more likely to graduate on time at two-year campuses than the overall student population. While 12.7 percent of students at two-year campuses graduate on time, Scholars have seen an on-time graduation rate of 17.3 percent – a 14.6 percentage point increase over the last five years.

“By every measure, 21st Century Scholars are improving and making measurable gains toward closing Indiana’s college graduation achievement gap,” said Commissioner Lubbers. “While the Scholar Success Program requirements have only been in place for a short time, I believe they are already making a significant difference and will continue to show that the Scholars program is an investment worth making for the state.”

Later this summer, the Commission for Higher Education will release a supplemental report providing data on the performance of Indiana’s minority students. The report will provide disaggregated information about Black and Hispanic students, while highlighting a double digit on-time completion increase within the last five years. While the data indicate progress toward closing the minority achievement gap by 2025, continued improvement in this area will be critical to meeting Indiana’s 60 percent higher education attainment goal by 2025.