Public Universities with the lowest completion rate

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by warguns, May 7, 2015.

  1. warguns

    warguns Member

    10 Public Universities with the Worst Graduation Rates | The Fiscal Times

    The worst is Granite State which appears mainly to be a degree-completion institution.

    Tuition expense is not a reason for failing to complete: most are under $5000 a year.

    What these places have in common is dreadfully unprepared students. One has a combined SAT score of 808 (HBCU). Several don't report average SAT scores for a reason that is painfully obvious.
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Completion rates are worthless.

    Some of these schools are not traditional "arrive the fall after HS graduation and leave four years later" types of places. ESC and Granite State gear programs toward adult learners. When I was in the Navy I took courses at at least three different schools. Part of it was that we had professors from (or affiliated with) UMUC, ESC and San Diego City College (and a few others, depending upon where you were stationed) on base. I took two courses with San Diego City College because they happened to be offering courses I wanted to take.

    But some schools, particularly in the early 2000s, didn't offer individual courses online. If you wanted to take a course to "test the program" you had to enroll in a degree program. And if you didn't like it, you had to withdraw. Now, many of these schools offer the option of taking individual coursework. And I enrolled in some of those programs fully intending to complete it.

    And adult learners are in a different boat anyway. I futzed around with earning a masters. I took a course here, a course there, but I didn't really have a fire under me because I already had a job and job and family took priority. So, yeah, I withdrew from American Military University. I didn't withdraw because I was ill-prepared. I didn't withdraw because it was a bad program. I withdrew because my wife got pregnant and I found myself unable to justify dedicating hours every week reading about military history.

    Unfortunately, that also means that my "personal exploration" hurt AMU for reasons that are not AMU's fault, if we consider a bad completion rate "hurts" the school or its reputation.

    And you know what? I would wager that the completion rates are even worse at community colleges. Lots of students come in for cheap transfer credits, sure. But plenty of adults decide that this will be the year that they will become an R.N. or get a degree in Engineering Technology (a popular choice for our welders who wish to advance) and simply fall off the wagon after a semester or two of work (and their day jobs getting in the way). That doesn't mean the programming is bad.

    And I wouldn't use SAT score to judge an institution at this point any more than I would use a pre-employment IQ test in a hiring decision. It's an outdated model that really fails to provide any meaningful information.
  3. warguns

    warguns Member

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  5. warguns

    warguns Member

    SAT and ACT

  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Well then, as someone who knows more about this than me, maybe you can help me understand why more and more colleges are finding these tests unnecessary and have stopped requiring them.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  7. warguns

    warguns Member

    SAT and ACT

    Sure. There are four reasons.

    1. Certain minorities do poorly on both of these tests. Members of these minority groups who do score well will be admitted anywhere. Some schools that wish to increase their diversity by having more members of these groups may make the exam optional. In reality it is only optional to members of these group.

    2. Many colleges desire students that will pay the "full fare". Often these students are not clever but by making the standardized test optional, these richer students can be accepted.

    3. Many colleges are concerned about proportion of students accepted of those who apply. "The lower the better" for US News rank. By making standardized test optional, many more students will apply therefore allowing a larger proportion to be rejected.

    4. Some colleges are so non-competitive, such as the one cited with median 808 SAT scores, that they effectively accept everyone anyway. By making the SAT optional, their median SAT score will go UP because those with low scores will not submit them. It may be that some fairly competitive colleges may adopt this strategy but of course no one will admit it.

    There may be other reasons. Thank you for your interest in this important issue.
  8. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

  9. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Yeah, the "test optional" stuff is used for athletes, celebrities children, donor's children, affirmative action diversity admits, etc.
  10. basrsu

    basrsu Member

    I found this NPR piece quite interesting:

    College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't : NPR

    I do not believe this nugget has been aforementioned in this thread: 800 of our 3000 U.S. universities already make standardized test scores (ACT and SAT specifically) optional.


  11. warguns

    warguns Member

    only optional for some

    As has been pointed out, the reality is that the standardized test is only optional for some

    "Yeah, the "test optional" stuff is used for athletes, celebrities children, donor's children, affirmative action diversity admits, etc."

    Also many of the schools listed as SAT optional are art or music schools where obviously other talents are more important

    The reality is that the quality of work required for high grades in high schools varies so much that grades are not an indicator of much. At many inner city high schools, a "B' is automatic if the kid doesn't cause trouble and an A is awarded for any effort at all. At selective high schools high grades may be much harder to obtain
  12. basrsu

    basrsu Member

    Is this true only of inner-city high schools? If so, why? Any research to support this?
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I think I understand what you're getting at but I guess you understand that this may be seen by some as controversial. With this in mind, a sensible question to ask would be, "Your saying it's so doesn't, by itself, make it so. Do you have any data or other evidence to support these propositions?"
  14. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Another reason why some schools are dropping the standardized test requirement is because they want to increase economic diversity. Students who can afford it often pay for preparation courses to boost their scores. They are learning how to take the test better, but a preparation course to boost their score doesn't make them a better student.

    The way to get around grade inflation is to focus on students who graduated at the top 5%, 10%, 25%, etc. of their class. The top 10% cutoff could be a 90 at one high school and a 95 at another, but students in the top 10% from both schools will have an equal chance of getting in all else being equal.
  15. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Well for athletes its called a "Special Admit". Most colleges are very upfront about those and in fact if you google "Special Admit" and Athletes you'll get a ton of hits explaining this.

    I remember reading an article in the AJC about athlete SAT scores. Obviously these are Special Admits.


    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Sunday, December 28, 2008

    "Football and men’s basketball players on the nation’s big-time college teams averaged hundreds of points lower on their SATs than their classmates, and some of the gaps are so large they call into question the lengths to which schools will go to win.

    The biggest gap between football players and students as a whole occurred at the University of Florida, where players scored 346 points lower than the school’s overall student body [out of 1600 points, or about 1.5 standard deviations]. That’s larger than the difference in scores between typical students at the University of Georgia and Harvard University"

    "Nationwide, football players average 220 points lower on the SAT than their classmates — and men’s basketball players average seven points less than football players"

    "Those figures come from an Atlanta Journal-Constitution study of 54 public universities, including the members of the six major Bowl Championship Series conferences and other schools whose teams finished the 2007-08 season ranked among the football or men’s basketball top 25.

    While it’s commonly known that admission standards are different for athletes, the AJC study quantifies how wide the gap is between athletes and the general student body at major universities"

    Affirmative Action Studies;
    No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life

    "a book-length study of admissions and affirmative action at eight highly selective colleges and universities. Unsurprisingly, they found that the admissions process seemed to favor black and Hispanic applicants, while whites and Asians needed higher grades and SAT scores to get in. But what was striking, as Russell K. Nieli pointed out last week on the conservative Web site Minding the Campus, was which whites were most disadvantaged by the process: the downscale, the rural and the working-class.

    This was particularly pronounced among the private colleges in the study. For minority applicants, the lower a family’s socioeconomic position, the more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualification"
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  16. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Obviously, no one ever bothered to look at the list of 800 colleges NPR was referring to. Why make wild assumptions, when you can just look at the list and easily tell that many of these colleges don't require test scores at all and others only require test scores if you don't meet GPA or class rank requirements?

    FairTest | The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

    Look at Bryant University's test optional policy. It says nothing about being an athlete or minority. The test optional policy applies to everyone. For those concerned about grade inflation or students attending easier high schools, if you took AP or IB courses, it makes your application look stronger.
    Test Optional Policy | Bryant University

    Affirmative action does not require colleges to admit certain groups who are less qualified. Affirmative action only puts pressure on organizations to hire (or admit) equally-qualified, underrepresented groups. If a college takes further steps to increase diversity, then that has nothing to do with government requirements unless it is done under a court order. Organizations (including schools) that have been shown to be discriminatory or having made absolutely no effort to increase diversity can be forced to recruit more individuals from underrepresented groups. This has happened to HBCUs. If you're a mediocre white student, then you should apply at a public HBCU. You will have a much greater chance than the black students to receive scholarships and be admitted.
    Historically black colleges are seeing an increase in white students - The Root DC Live - The Washington Post

    Every time affirmative action is brought up, the focus is on minorities when white women have benefited from AA more than anyone else. If your'e a white woman applying to some kind of STEM program, then AA will be on your side.
    Sally Kohn: Affirmative Action Helps White Women More Than Others |
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  17. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Yes, men are more likely to benefit from AA than women when it comes to general college admission. Affirmation action benefits any underrepresented group. This is something most Americans don't seem to understand. Currently, men are underrepresented in college in general.
  19. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    Oh, this will be a fun sanatone already alluded to.

    Girls are given better grades all through primary school (you should see what happens when the girls and boys are given tests..oops)
    Elementary School Bias Against Boys Sets Them Up For Failure: Study

    College enrollment benefits women.
    Women’s college enrollment gains leave men behind

    And, right out of college women earn more than men.
    Workplace Salaries: At Last, Women on Top
  20. Lhosant

    Lhosant New Member

    "Completion rate" is a complicated metric. The two ways to improve it is to be more selective or drop the standards, and only a few institutions can afford the first.

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