Persistence and attainment of 2003-04 beginning postsecondary students: After 6 years. First look (NCES 2011-151)
This First Look report provides a brief description of the persistence and degree attainment of a nationally representative sample of students who began postsecondary education for the first time in the 2003-04 academic year. The report provides a first look at the experience of these students over six academic years, from 2003-04 to 2008-09, and provides information about the rates at which students completed degrees, transferred to other institutions, and left postsecondary education without attaining degrees. It provides direct comparisons of the institutional retention and completion rates of undergraduates at the first institution attended versus the persistence and attainment rates of the same group of students anywhere in postsecondary education after six years. Findings show that 49 percent of students who began postsecondary education in 2003-04 earned a credential by June 2009, ranging from an educational certificate to a bachelors degree. Another 15 percent remained enrolled, but had not yet completed a program of study; and about one-third (36 percent) left postsecondary education without a credential of any kind by June 2009.