College Graduation Rates: Full Statistics
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
In 2022, the U.S. college graduation rate was 62.3%.
Between 2008-2020, on average, 3 in 5 bachelor's students graduated.
2.1 million people received bachelor's degrees in 2021.
Almost 350,000 earned an associate degree.Note Reference 
Almost half (47%) of bachelor's students finished their degree in four years.Note Reference 
At public two-year colleges, the college graduation rate was 43.1% in 2022.Note Reference 
In recent years, as the enrollment cliff nears, fewer people have been going to college. But, college students are graduating at higher rates.
The average college graduation rate depends on several factors, from institution type to program length. And it varies across states and student groups.
This report covers college graduation statistics plus trends from past years.
Table of Contents
Average College Graduation Rate
According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC), the college graduation rate in 2022 was about 63% for all schools.Note Reference 
That's slightly higher than the average college graduation rate from 2008-2020 reported by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which was 60% at four-year colleges.Note Reference 
College Graduation Rates By School Type
Among four-year institutions, for-profit schools have the lowest graduation rates.
However, among two-year colleges, private for-profit schools have higher graduation rates than public or nonprofit schools.
|Institution Type||Six-Year Completion Rate||Eight-Year Completion Rate|
|Private Nonprofit, Four-Year||77.8%||81.1%|
|Private For-Profit, Four-Year||47.6%||49.4%|
|Institution Type||Three-Year Completion Rate|
|All School Types||34%|
Community College Graduation Rates
Public two-year schools, also called community colleges, tend to have lower graduation rates than four-year schools.
In about 8% of instances, community college students transfer to four-year schools to finish their degrees.Note Reference 
College Graduation Rate Over Time
The average college graduation rate rose by roughly seven percentage points between 2008 and 2016 entry cohorts.Note Reference 
Graduation rates have generally increased at four-year public and nonprofit colleges over the years. They've been less predictable at for-profit colleges.
Number of College Graduates Over Time
The total number of college graduates at four-year institutions increased steadily in the early 2000s, similar to the four-year college graduation rate.
While community colleges have seen a rise in completion rates, the number of graduates at these schools has shrunk. One reason for this may be because community colleges have experienced the steepest recent college enrollment decline compared to other school types.
College Graduation Rates by Gender
Women graduate at higher rates than men and have every year in the recent past. Over the past decade-plus, women have graduated at higher rates than men.Note Reference , Note Reference 
- In 2022, nearly 66% of women students and 59% of men students graduated college.Note Reference 
- At all four-year colleges, about 74% of women students graduated versus 67% of men.Note Reference 
- At public two-year colleges, about 46% of women students graduated versus 41% of men.Note Reference 
- Between 2008-2020, women students have graduated from four-year schools at rates about 4-6 percentage points higher than male students.Note Reference 
Did You Know...
Women attend college at higher rates than men.
Not only do women graduate from college at higher rates than men, but they also enroll at higher rates. In fact, women have outnumbered men in college since 1979.
Explore more facts and statistics in our college enrollment report.
College Graduation Rates by Race
Centuries of racial exclusion in higher education influence college enrollment and graduation rates.
- White, Asian, and non-U.S. resident students have above-average graduation rates.Note Reference , Note Reference 
- American Indian/Alaska Native, Black, Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Latino/a, and multiracial students have below-average graduation rates.Note Reference , Note Reference 
Average College Graduation Rate by State
The map below shows the percentage of college students in each state who graduated within 150% of the standard program time by 2022.
Dive Deeper Into U.S. College Attainment Levels
Behind the Numbers
Unless stated otherwise,
graduation rate refers to the percentage of college entrants who graduate from the first institute they attended within six years.
When we report graduation rates within 150% of the standard program rate, that means students graduate within six years for four-year schools and three years for two-year schools.
We downloaded Department of Education data to provide state rankings. We took the average college graduation rate among all reporting colleges in each state.