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College Completion

College completion refers to the number of students who enroll in college and obtain either a 2-year or a 4-year degree. Over the past few decades in the United States, college completions have not kept up with college enrollments. This fact is troubling in that the returns to obtaining some college education are relatively low and that individuals recover most of the benefits of college only after obtaining a degree. This entry will provide an overview of recent trends in completion rates, issues with measurement of completion, factors that determine college completion rates, and some of the possible reasons why individuals may fail to complete college.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 4.3 million students started college in the fall of 2004, and of them, ...

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