Skip to main content

An Interactive Retention Visualization

As I've written before, I think graduation rates are mostly an input, rather than an output.  The quality of the freshman class (as measured by a single blunt variable, average test scores) predicts with pretty high certainty where your graduation rate will end up. 

(Note: Remember, the reason test optional admissions practices work is that test scores and GPA are strongly correlated.  If you didn't have a high school transcript, you could use test scores by themselves, but they would not be as good; sort of like using a screwdriver as a chisel.  And the reason why mean test scores work in this instance is essentially the same reason your stock portfolio should have 25 stocks in it to reduce non-systematic risk.)

Further, choosing students with high standardized test scores means you're likely to have taken very few risks in the admissions process, as high scores signal wealth, more accumulated educational opportunity, and college-educated parents. That essentially guarantees high grad rates.

But you can see the data for yourself, below. How to interact:

Each dot is a college, colored by control: Blue for private, orange for public. Use the filter at right to choose either one, or both.

The six-year graduation rate is on the y-axis, and mean test scores of the Fall, 2016 freshman class are along the x-axis.  Using the control at top right, you can choose SAT or ACT.  Test-optional colleges are not allowed to report scores to IPEDS.

If you want to find a college among the 1,100 or so shown, type part of the name in the "Highlight" box.  Then select from the options given.  You should be able to find it.

Sound good? There is more.

Try using the "Selectivity" filter to look at groups of colleges by selectivity.  Notice the shape of the regression lines, and how they're largely the same for each group.

Finally, if you click on an individual college, you'll find that two new charts pop up at bottom.  One shows the ethnic breakdown of the undergraduate student body; one shows all the graduation rates IPEDS collects. If you click often enough, you'll see patterns here, too. Race signals a lot, including wealth and parental attainment, as those--again--turn into graduation rates.

A final note: I've added a variable called "Chance of Four-year Graduation" which is explained here.  The premise is that everyone thinks they're going to graduate from the college they enter, so of those who do graduate, what percentage do it in four?

Tell me what you find interesting here.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

So you think you're going back to the SAT and ACT?

Now that almost every university in the nation has gone test-optional for the 2021 cycle out of necessity, a nagging question remains: How many will go back to requiring tests as soon as it's possible?  No one knows, but some of the announcements some colleges made sounded like the kid who only ate his green beans to get his screen time: They did it, but they sure were not happy about it.  So we have some suspicions about the usual suspects. I don't object to colleges requiring tests, of course, even though I think they're not very helpful, intrinsically biased against certain groups, and a tool of the vain.  You be you, though, and don't let me stop you. However, there is a wild card in all of this: The recent court ruling prohibiting the University of California system from even using--let alone requiring--the SAT or ACT in admissions decisions next fall.  If you remember, the Cal State system had already decided to go test blind, and of course community colleges in

Baccalaureate origins of doctoral recipients

Here's a little data for you: 61 years of it, to be precise.  The National Science Foundation publishes its data on US doctoral recipients sliced a variety of ways, including some non-restricted public use files that are aggregated at a high level to protect privacy. The interface is a little quirky, and if you're doing large sets, you need to break it into pieces (this was three extracts of about 20 years each), but it may be worth your time to dive in. I merged the data set with my mega table of IPEDS data, which allows you to look at institutions on a more granular level:  It's not surprising to find that University of Washington graduates have earned more degrees than graduates of Whitman College, for instance.  So, you can filter the data by Carnegie type, region or state, or control, for instance; or you can look at all 61 years, or any range of years between 1958 and 2018 and combine it with broad or specific academic fields using the controls. High school and indep

2018 Admissions Data

This is always a popular post, it seems, and I've had a couple of people already ask when it was going to be out.  Wait no more. This is IPEDS 2018 admissions data, visualized for you in two different ways.  You can switch using the tabs across the top. The first view is the universe of colleges and universities that report data; not every college is required to, and a few leave data out, and test optional colleges are not supposed to report test scores.  But IPEDS is not perfect, so if you find any problems, contact the college. On the first view, you'll see 1,359 four-year private and public, not-for-profit institutions displayed.  In order to make this as clean as possible, I've taken out some specialty schools (nursing, business, engineering, etc.) as many of those don't have complete data.  But you can put them back in using the filter at top right. Hover over any bar, and a little chart pops up showing undergraduate enrollment by ethnicity. You can also