More U of M students graduate in 4 yearsby Tim Post, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Students at the University of Minnesota are continuing a trend of graduating sooner.
Just over 50 percent of students at the university's Twin Cities campus now graduate in four years. That rate was 47 percent last year, it was only 37 percent a decade ago.
Bob McMaster, dean of undergraduate education, said the university has put several programs in place to increase retention of students and speed their academic progress.
"I think it all points to acceleration of our graduation rates over the next few years," he said. "For certain reaching 60 percent will be a challenge. We still think we can get there."
The university's Board of Regents wants the four-year graduation rate to hit 60 percent within two years. The university still lags behind peer schools when it comes to graduation rates.
The report also showed a slight decrease in the freshman retention rate over last year.
University officials say a higher than usual number of out of state students didn't return after their freshman year. Some the university officials say could be tied to the poor economy.