Grad rates influence college choice

Amid the news of Minnesota State University – Moorhead’s concern about its low graduation rates and the closure of Corrick Center for at-risk students, I stumbled across this Chronicle of Higher Education piece on how some students choose colleges based partly on their grad rates:

Providing graduation rates, the researchers found, increased the likelihood (by about 15 percentage points) that parents would choose the college with the higher graduation rate. Moreover, such information was most likely to influence the choices of parents who had relatively low incomes and little admissions savvy. More-affluent parents were less likely to change their preferences based on information about graduation rates.

Would higher grad rates be an incentive to close down an underperforming center for at-risk students and send them to a community college? I’ll ask.

Update: Moorhead’s dean of the University College, Denise Gorsline, said the university’s grad rate would be about 46 percent without Corrick students. With them, it’s roughly 41 percent (though she was fuzzy on the exact figure). Though not a dramatic drop, she said, it’s still “pretty big.”

That said, though some Corrick students may be advised to go to community college, the rest will be able to stay at the university — as long as they can keep their grades up.