Phi Beta Cons

Is 16 Percent a Passing Grade?

More on the University of Phoenix, from NYT:

The university says that its graduation rate, using the federal standard, is 16 percent, which is among the nation’s lowest, according to Department of Education data. But the university has dozens of campuses, and at many, the rate is even lower. …
The government measures graduation rates as the percentage of first-time undergraduates who obtain a degree within six years. On average across all American universities, the rate is 55 percent. Dr. Pepicello said this was a poor yardstick for comparing other universities with his, which serves mostly older students who started college elsewhere. Alongside the 16 percent rate, the university Web site also publishes a 59 percent graduation rate, but that is based on nonstandard calculations and does not allow comparison with other universities, he said. The official rates at some University of Phoenix campuses are extremely low — 6 percent at the Southern California campus, 4 percent among online students — and he acknowledged extraordinary attrition among younger students.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.