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Michigan college graduation rates tick slightly upward in latest data

 person wearing a green graduation gown and cap
Andre Hunter

Four-year graduation rates at Michigan’s public universities have gone up nearly 15% across the last decade.

That’s according to new state data from the Center for Education Performance and Information (CEPI).

The numbers show 57.7% of students are now getting a degree or certificate within four years. When expanded to eight years, that number balloons to 81%.

Daniel Hurley is the CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. He said part of that is schools being more intentional with student support.

“For example, we’ve been hearing more and more about just basic needs. Housing and food insecurity, things like that. So, universities, many of them have ability to do immediate, short-term interventions to help out students.”

Hurley also credits new financial aid programs for the higher graduation rates.

“Collectively, they provide over a billion dollars of financial aid to students in a way that they orchestrate that aid to … be efficient with their limited institutional dollars, but also to be strategic and high impact,” Hurley said.

As far as public university data goes, only seven-year graduate rates went down, from 79.6% to 79.2%.

Meanwhile, community colleges also saw a positive indicator, with 25.4% of students getting a degree, certificate or transferring to continue their degree within two years. Their six-year success rate dropped, though, from 49.3% to 45.7%.

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