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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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SDSU students at Commencement SDSU students at Commencement

SDSU Graduation Rates Reach Record High

Time to graduation continues to shrink for undergraduate and transfer students.
By Coleen L. Geraghty

“These record-high graduation rates reflect the ongoing efforts of our faculty and staff to support academic excellence.”

San Diego State University graduation rates continue to rise steadily according to data released by SDSU this week.

Just over 75 percent of first-time freshmen who entered SDSU in fall 2011 graduated in six or fewer years. This is up from 74.1 percent for freshmen entering in fall 2010 and 68.5 percent for freshmen entering in fall 2009.

The national average six-year graduation rate for four-year public universities is 59 percent.

“These record-high graduation rates reflect the ongoing efforts of our faculty and staff to support academic excellence,” said President Sally Roush. “We support students with outstanding teaching and innovative programs, academic advising and mentoring, and opportunities like undergraduate research, study abroad, entrepreneurship and leadership training.

Six-year graduation rates—the national reporting standard among universities—also rose for underrepresented students at SDSU. The six-year rate for underrepresented first-time freshmen enrolling in 2011 climbed to 73.5 percent from 71.1 percent for the students who entered SDSU in 2010.

The gap between graduation rates for underrepresented students and for all students is known as the achievement gap. At SDSU, this gap is 4.3 percentage points for students graduating in six years or fewer.

“The achievement of our diverse students is a particular point of pride for the university and an affirmation of our commitment to student success,” said Chukuka S. Enwemeka, SDSU provost and senior vice president.

SDSU continuation rates, which measure the percentage of freshmen who return for their sophomore year and is a key indicator of student success, also remain high at 88.3 percent of freshmen who entered in fall 2016.

Data show that transfer students also achieve success at SDSU. Fifty percent of new upper-division transfer students who entered SDSU in 2015 graduated in two years, while nearly 46 percent of students who transferred in fall 2014 graduated in two years or fewer.

The new data also indicate a highly competitive freshman class. This year’s cohort of 5,301 first-time freshmen has an average high school GPA of 3.71 and an average two-part SAT score of 1,195. Nearly 14 percent are first-generation college students.

Graduation rate increases and other examples of SDSU’s rising academic strength are evidence of the effectiveness of Building on Excellence, the university’s strategic plan implemented in 2013.

"We have been intentional in our investments by providing quality education and programming that fosters an environment where our students can strive and be successful," said Eric Rivera, vice president for Student Affairs. “The continuing rise of our graduation rates is a reflection of these investments in our students, faculty, and staff."