Students who first enroll at a Maryland independent college or university “top the nation” in college completion rates! A recent report released by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center ranks Maryland’s independent segment of higher education as the top performing segment in the nation. Based on the Clearinghouse report, 93 percent of students who enroll first-time, full-time at a Maryland private nonprofit college or university complete their first degree within six years.
The most effective way to reduce college costs and cut student debt is to shorten the time-to-degree. Students who graduate early pay less tuition and start earning sooner. Furthermore, numerous studies report that college graduates earn higher starting salaries; achieve more lifetime earnings; and are more likely to engage in civic, community, and philanthropic activities.
The remarkable performance of Maryland’s independent segment of higher education is not due to the selectivity of the institutions, but to the success of all students enrolled. Contrary to prevalent myths, the demographics of students attending Maryland’s independent colleges and universities are similar to the demographics of students attending Maryland’s public universities. One in three students is a student-of-color; one in four is a low-income student; and many are first-generation college students and adult learners.
Moreover, Maryland’s independent institutions are no more selective than the University System of Maryland (USM) institutions. Forty-six percent of applicants to a USM institution are admitted for enrollment compared to 45 percent of applicants to a MICUA member institution. Additionally, the average ACT and SAT scores of admitted students are almost identical.
The Clearinghouse report substantiates the important role Maryland’s independent colleges and universities serve in supporting the economic success of the State, which boasts a highly-educated workforce capable of supporting a vibrant knowledge-based economy.