DePauw University has one of the highest graduation rates among America's institutions of higher education, according to a new, national report.
"Diplomas and Dropouts: Which Colleges Actually Graduate Their Students (and Which Don't)" was prepared for the American Enterprise Institute on Public Policy based on data from the U.S. Department of Education. It finds that DePauw's graduation rate of 81 percent is the fifth highest in the nation among "very competitive" schools (Stonehill tops the list at 85 percent) and is No. 2 in the Midwest.
DePauw and the University of Notre Dame are the only two Indiana colleges to place within a national top 10 list.
When averaging every college and university across the nation, the research finds that only 55 percent of students get degrees within six years.
The report compiles the federal government's six-year graduation rate for all the four-year undergraduate institutions in the United States. They range from a high of 100 perecent (at the "noncompetitive" Arkansas Baptist College) to as low as 8 percent (at Southern University at New Orleans, which is also in the "noncompetitive" category, based on admissions selectivity).
"When two colleges that enroll similar students have a graduation rate gap of 20 or 30 percentage points or more, it is fair to ask why," the report reads. "More important, students, parents, guidance counselors, and taxpayers (who foot the bill for many student costs) all deserve to know which schools graduate most of their students and which graduate only a few."
Earlier this year, data from Independent Colleges of Indiana found that DePauw's 81.2 percent four-year graduation rate exceeded both the 60 percent average at Indiana's independent colleges and the 29 percent graduation rate for undergraduates at state schools.
Consistently recognized as one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges, DePauw University has graduated some of America's most prominent business, political and community leaders. Its student body of approximately 2,300 undergraduates comes from 42 states and 32 countries.
A faculty of 238 ensures small class sizes which average 16 students (many are smaller), providing optimal opportunities for discussion, participation and one-on-one interactions.
The 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement puts DePauw freshmen and seniors in the top 10 percent of all colleges and universities for the level of academic challenge they experience. The study also ranks DePauw seniors in the top 10 percent of all participating institutions nationwide for enjoying enriching educational experiences.
DePauw is among the nation's top 50 liberal arts colleges that combine "outstanding economic value with top-notch education," according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The magazine's 2009 "best values" list places DePauw No. 38 among the nation's liberal arts colleges.
DePauw University also ranks among the top 10 baccalaureate institutions in the nation for the total number of students who studied abroad in 2006-07, according to the 2008 Open Doors report. It is also among the "Top Producers of Fulbright Awards for U.S. Students, 2008-09" according to a chart published in the October 24, 2008 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education.