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ERN CT Release: Report Finds High Costs, Low Grad Rates in CT Colleges

EMBARGOED FOR: November 12, 2019

CONTACT: Amy Dowell |

Release: Report Finds High Costs, Low Grad Rates in CT Colleges

November 12, 2019—Education Reform Now CT—a non-profit policy organization focused on improving public education and protecting civil rights—has released a new report looking at the costs and outcomes in Connecticut's four-year colleges.

The report, titled Less for More: Low Rates of Completion and High Costs at Connecticut's Four-Year Colleges, includes the following findings:

  • Three of Connecticut’s four-year colleges consistently graduate less than 50 percent of their entire student bodies within six years of initial enrollment, and seven colleges consistently graduate less than 50% of their underrepresented minority populations in the same period.

  • Almost half of Connecticut’s four-year colleges charge an exceptionally high net price to students from the lowest income families. In 2016, 12 Connecticut four-year colleges charged more than double the net price that a national peer institution charged to comparable low-income students.

  • Most concerning is that four Connecticut colleges combine both low graduation rates and high net prices for low-income students, relative to peer institutions nationally.

"The takeaway from this study is that too many Connecticut students are simply not set up for success. Connecticut can and should do better by its students,” said Amy Dowell, State Director of Education Reform Now Connecticut. “This data shows that our institutions of higher education are sometimes leaving our most vulnerable students worse off than before they enrolled. When we ask young people to take on debt without even earning the credentials that will allow for paying it off—that also has a compounding effect on our state economy.

"Almost certainly, our institutions of higher education could do more to counsel these students and support them throughout their academic careers. But we can’t lose track of the underlying problem: namely, that our public school system isn't producing graduates who are ready to succeed in college. It’s time for change.”


About Education Reform Now CT:

ERN CT supports elected leaders who are champions of public education, providing policy expertise and advocacy. Together, we advance ideas and practices based on democratic values—with the goals of increasing equity, protecting civil rights and the social safety net, and promoting great educational opportunities for all.


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