College graduation rates vary widely from one state to another; while 60% of enrolled students graduate in New Hampshire, in South Dakota the same percentage of people drop out before earning a degree.

There are several reasons why students may not complete their four-year education. Many experience social isolation, anxiety, or depression. These conditions are likely to emerge during the first few months away from home or when personal or financial setbacks arise. Other factors that influence academic discouragement are transferring schools or tackling a full-time student schedule while holding down a job that demands more than 25 hours per week.

Some colleges have added time management counselors to their staff, aiming to provide students with timely information and tools to help them organize their schedules while implementing effective studying habits. The advisors help students choose the best route toward completing the requirements for the major of their choice in the shortest time possible.

EDsmart used data from the Department of Education to see which states’ colleges have the highest graduation rates. The Education Department’s College Scorecard may not showcase the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, as data generally culminates in the 2020-2021 school year. Still, the results offer some insight into not only each state’s annual crop of new graduates—many of them job seekers—but also what type of degree people in each state tend to pursue.

Graduation rates are for full-time, first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates enrolled in a four-year institution who complete their program within six years or 150% of the originally planned amount of time. States were ranked by the average graduation rates of every college with a campus in that state, and rates are provided for the most prominent degree type granted.Great Basin College in Elko as seen during the afternoon.

Kit Leong // Shutterstock

#51. Nevada

– Overall graduation rate: 32.7%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 21.7%
— Bachelor’s degree: 35.6%Dormitory apartment buildings at the University of Georgia at dusk.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#50. Georgia

– Overall graduation rate: 39.1%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 21.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 41.9%A University of Wyoming campus entrance sign as as seen in Laramie.

Jillian Cain Photography // Shutterstock

#49. Wyoming

– Overall graduation rate: 39.7%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 29.9%
— Bachelor’s degree: 59.2%An aerial view of the state university campus in Fairbanks.

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#48. Alaska

– Overall graduation rate: 39.9%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: not available
— Bachelor’s degree: 46.7%East Hall on the campus of the University of South Dakota.

Eric Hurlburt // Shutterstock

#47. South Dakota

– Overall graduation rate: 40.0%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 3.0%
— Bachelor’s degree: 45.7%The New Mexico State University Center for the Arts as viewed at night.

Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture // Shutterstock

#46. New Mexico

– Overall graduation rate: 40.1%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 31.3%
— Bachelor’s degree: 44.0%An aerial drone view of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks during the summer.

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#45. North Dakota

– Overall graduation rate: 40.5%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 23.0%
— Bachelor’s degree: 50.0%The OSU Spirit Rider on the campus of Oklahoma State University.

Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#44. Oklahoma

– Overall graduation rate: 40.6%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 28.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 40.5%Woodburn Circle on University Avenue on the campus of West Virginia University.

Nagel Photography // Shutterstock

#43. West Virginia

– Overall graduation rate: 41.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 30.2%
— Bachelor’s degree: 41.5%The entrance to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Jeff Greenberg // Getty Images

#42. Hawaii

– Overall graduation rate: 42.2%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 24.6%
— Bachelor’s degree: 44.4%An aerial view of the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#41. Kansas

– Overall graduation rate: 42.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 39.0%
— Bachelor’s degree: 44.1%The campus of Montana State University in Bozeman on a bright, sunny spring day.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

#40. Montana

– Overall graduation rate: 43.6%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 30.9%
— Bachelor’s degree: 47.4%The University of Alabama at Birmingham UAB Hospital title and logo on a brick facade.

University of College // Shutterstock

#39. Alabama

– Overall graduation rate: 43.7%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 23.6%
— Bachelor’s degree: 44.8%The campus of Texas A&M University, a public research university in College Station.

Grindstone Media Group // Shutterstock

#38. Texas

– Overall graduation rate: 44.3%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 28.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 46.8%An aerial view of the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#37. Colorado

– Overall graduation rate: 44.9%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 32.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 50.2%A brick University of Louisville sign.

4kclips // Shutterstock

#36. Kentucky

– Overall graduation rate: 45.0%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 40.9%
— Bachelor’s degree: 46.0%The University of Utah's entrance sign.

Chad Robertson Media // Shutterstock

#35. Utah

– Overall graduation rate: 45.2%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 35.1%
— Bachelor’s degree: 51.0%A Louisiana Tech University sign welcoming everyone to campus.

Chad Robertson Media // Shutterstock

#34. Louisiana

– Overall graduation rate: 45.3%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 30.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 45.6%The entrance sign to the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Kristopher Kettner // Shutterstock

#33. Arizona

– Overall graduation rate: 45.7%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 51.7%
— Bachelor’s degree: 43.5%Students sitting in a circle on the campus of the University of Mississippi.

Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#32. Mississippi

– Overall graduation rate: 46.2%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 11.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 48.5%Cherry Blossoms in bloom in front of an entrance sign for Ohio University.

Robert A. Powell // Shutterstock

#31. Ohio

– Overall graduation rate: 46.3%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 27.0%
— Bachelor’s degree: 55.2%Two people walking through the campus gates of the University of Arkansas.

Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#30. Arkansas

– Overall graduation rate: 46.7%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 12.5%
— Bachelor’s degree: 48.8%An aerial view of the Washington State University campus during the day.

Steve Smith // Shutterstock

#29. Washington

– Overall graduation rate: 47.5%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 33.2%
— Bachelor’s degree: 62.4%The University of Idaho's campus in Moscow.

CSNafzger // Shutterstock

#28. Idaho

– Overall graduation rate: 48.9%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 30.9%
— Bachelor’s degree: 52.9%Students walking on the lawn of a quad on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Leigh Trail // Shutterstock

#27. Florida

– Overall graduation rate: 49.3%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 44.1%
— Bachelor’s degree: 52.1%The entrance sign for the campus of the University of South Carolina.

Ken Wolter // Shutterstock

#26. South Carolina

– Overall graduation rate: 49.5%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 22.5%
— Bachelor’s degree: 51.8%A building on the campus of Delaware State University in Dover.

Teresa Levite // Shutterstock

#25. Delaware

– Overall graduation rate: 50.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 17.7%
— Bachelor’s degree: 55.9%Students walking toward the James Hunt Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Wileydoc // Shutterstock

#24. North Carolina

– Overall graduation rate: 50.6%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 70.5%
— Bachelor’s degree: 50.5%The gates to Rutgers University at night.

Benjamin Clapp // Shutterstock

#23. New Jersey

– Overall graduation rate: 51.2%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 65.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 48.4%A  clock tower and fountain at Saint Louis University.

STLJB // Shutterstock

#22. Missouri

– Overall graduation rate: 51.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 70.8%
— Bachelor’s degree: 49.3%A building on the campus of Vanderbilt University.

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#21. Tennessee

– Overall graduation rate: 51.9%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 53.7%
— Bachelor’s degree: 53.1%An entrance sign to Howard University with brick buildings in the background.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

#20. Washington D.C.

– Overall graduation rate: 52.5%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: not available
— Bachelor’s degree: 52.5%An entrance sign for Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Katherine Welles // Shutterstock

#19. Michigan

– Overall graduation rate: 53.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 26.1%
— Bachelor’s degree: 57.3%An aerial view of Indiana Tech's campus.

Nicholas J Klein // Shutterstock

#18. Indiana

– Overall graduation rate: 54.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 59.9%
— Bachelor’s degree: 54.1%Weatherford Hall surrounded by trees on the Oregon State University campus.

Bob Pool // Shutterstock

#17. Oregon

– Overall graduation rate: 55.1%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: not available
— Bachelor’s degree: 55.0%Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles.

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#16. California

– Overall graduation rate: 55.9%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 46.3%
— Bachelor’s degree: 58.1%Foellinger Auditorium at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as viewed from the main quad.

tzm23 // Shutterstock

#15. Illinois

– Overall graduation rate: 56.1%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 54.5%
— Bachelor’s degree: 55.9%John Crouse Memorial College, home to Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#14. New York

– Overall graduation rate: 56.2%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 50.4%
— Bachelor’s degree: 57.4%The entrance to the agriculture building at the University of Wisconsin.

youngryand // Shutterstock

#13. Wisconsin

– Overall graduation rate: 56.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 17.9%
— Bachelor’s degree: 61.0%The entrance sign for the University of Maryland in College Park.

Bryan Pollard // Shutterstock

#12. Maryland

– Overall graduation rate: 56.6%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: not available
— Bachelor’s degree: 56.6%Buildings at Washington and Lee University in Lexington.

Travel Bug // Shutterstock

#11. Virginia

– Overall graduation rate: 57.2%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 51.4%
— Bachelor’s degree: 58.2%The central sidewalk at Creighton University in Omaha.

Lost_in_the_Midwest // Shutterstock

#10. Nebraska

– Overall graduation rate: 57.3%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 71.4%
— Bachelor’s degree: 56.6%The Williams Science Hall at the University of Vermont.

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#9. Vermont

– Overall graduation rate: 58.1%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 54.6%
— Bachelor’s degree: 59.2%Students hanging out together near Miller Library at Colby College.

Popova Valeriya // Shutterstock

#8. Maine

– Overall graduation rate: 58.9%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 81.5%
— Bachelor’s degree: 56.4%The landmark Stanton Carillon Bell Tower Campanile on the campus of Iowa State University.

EQRoy // Shutterstock

#7. Iowa

– Overall graduation rate: 59.7%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 100.0%
— Bachelor’s degree: 57.4%The Dartmouth Green, Baker Library, and bell tower.

Dan Lewis // Shutterstock

#6. New Hampshire

– Overall graduation rate: 59.9%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: not available
— Bachelor’s degree: 59.9%A brick building on the campus of the University of Minnesota St. Paul.

Mark Herreid // Shutterstock

#5. Minnesota

– Overall graduation rate: 61.8%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 54.1%
— Bachelor’s degree: 62.6%Students and adults walking in front of the Old Main building on the campus of Penn State.

Kristopher Kettner // Shutterstock

#4. Pennsylvania

– Overall graduation rate: 62.6%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 49.6%
— Bachelor’s degree: 63.4%The Yale campus in New Haven as viewed from Harkness Tower.

Winston Tan // Shutterstock

#3. Connecticut

– Overall graduation rate: 63.3%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 46.9%
— Bachelor’s degree: 63.9%A University of Massachusetts Amherst campus landscape.

Feng Cheng // Shutterstock

#2. Massachusetts

– Overall graduation rate: 66.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 37.7%
— Bachelor’s degree: 67.8%Aquinas Hall at Providence College as seen at dusk.

Jon Bilous // Shutterstock

#1. Rhode Island

– Overall graduation rate: 72.4%
– Rates by predominant degree type granted:
— Associate’s degree: 47.6%
— Bachelor’s degree: 75.2%

This story originally appeared on EDsmart and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


Stacker

Stacker is a news organization that produces and distributes data journalism to the world’s news organizations. Founded in 2017, Stacker combines data analysis with rich editorial context, drawing on authoritative sources and subject matter experts to drive storytelling. This article has been republished pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.