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February 25, 2010

Helping students graduate

A college education is more important today than perhaps ever before. But as more students go to college, there's also an increase in the number of students who drop out or who can't graduate on time. What can be done about this?

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"Colleges and universities ... are recognizing this -- increasingly recognizing this as an issue. And they are doing something. They are spending more money on things like student services, on tutoring and other special programs to help students who perhaps, not to use a ... a pun, not making the grade. The question is, are these programs effective?

"Well, now we have a new study released from the very prestigious National Bureau of Economic Research that directly answered this question. The authors actually found a positive association between program spending -- spending on things like student services and tutoring -- and graduation rate. Specifically, what they found was that for every increase in spending on student services of $500 per student, that was correlated with an increase of the graduation rate of 1.7 percent.

"So it looks like these focused, specialized spending programs on students who are lagging behind can have a pointed payoff."

Posted by deeshore at February 25, 2010 08:17 AM