Graduation Rate At Texas Public Colleges Inches Past National Average

Mar 2, 2018

Almost 61 percent of full-time students are graduating from Texas public universities in six years, according to a report released this week by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

That places Texas slightly above the national average of 59 percent. Unlike the federal government, Texas counts transfer students in its graduation rate, which helps raise the rate.

Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes said the state has improved a lot in the last 15 years.

“We were at about 49 percent, which is not satisfactory to anybody, and we’ve gone up 11 points in a very short period of time, speaking in education terms,” Paredes said.

The state’s goal is for 60 percent of Texans between the ages of 25 and 34 to have a certificate or college degree by 2030. Right now, about 42 percent do.

Paredes said if the graduation rate continues to improve, that goal is within reach.

“We have to improve quite a bit,” he said, estimating that the graduation rate will need to go up to around 71 percent.

According to the coordinating board report, the graduation rate of low-income students receiving federal Pell grants improved almost 9 percent since 2015. The statewide graduation rate was just over 59 percent two years ago.

The six-year graduation rate for the University of Texas at San Antonio is about 56 percent, up from 53 percent in 2015.

Camille Phillips can be reached at or on Twitter @cmpcamille