GSU graduation rates on the rise

Lilly McCann

Georgia Southern University is graduating more students than in previous years with the graduation rate growing three percent since 2011.

The state of Georgia graduates fewer college students in four years than the national average of 58 percent of first-time, full-time students. Only 56.7 percent of Georgia college students graduate in six years, and 11 percent of full-time college students graduate in four years, according to reports from Complete College America and the National Center of Education Statistics.

The number of students at GSU who graduate within six years has increased from 37 percent in 1997 to 50.4 percent in 2013, Dr. R. Jayne Perkins Brown, senior associate vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and director of Strategic Research and Analysis, said.

“There is always room to increase our rates, and we’re still making those strides,” Brown said.

In 2011 GSU was ranked fifth in the state for graduating students within six years, trailing behind University of Georgia that graduated 80 percent, Georgia Institute of Technology that graduated 79 percent and Georgia State University that graduated 50 percent, according to Complete College America.

Career Services offers a program designed to help students graduate on time and be successful at finding employment known as the Four-Year Plan.

“The plan allows us to recommend different services to students at their grade level, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t here to help even if you’re five weeks away from graduating,” Dr. Vince Miller, associate vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, said. “We will do everything to help, and our staff will work tirelessly to help.”