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News and Public Information Office
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Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
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Miami exceeds graduation rate expectations


High school seniors applying to college have a new tool to help them compare college graduation rates.

The Education Trust, an advocacy group for low-income and minority students, today (Jan. 19) unveiled a new interactive Web site at that allows users to select any four-year public or non-profit college and compare its graduation rates with similar institutions.

Users may also handpick their own comparison group of colleges and universities evaluate each's graduation rates.

The Web site compares schools by 11 factors, including size, selectivity, SAT scores and the percentage of students who are eligible for Pell grants.

Graduation rates vary considerably, even among comparable schools, according to Kati Haycock, Education Trust director.

Miami has consistently been among the top 10 major public universities nationwide for its graduation rate. In a May 2004 report the Education Trust cited Miami as a "model university" for its above average record in seeing that students succeed.

In its most recent report, titled "One Step from the Finish Line: Higher College Graduation Rates Are Within Our Reach," the Education Trust noted that Miami's graduation rate of 80.3 compares to a median graduation rate of 66 percent for comparable institutions, a 14.4 point difference.

"In any category you choose-small private colleges, big-city commuter campuses, open-access regional campuses-some institutions consistently outperform their peers when it comes to graduation rates," said the report.

For example, in the group of 15 public and private schools that the site lists as most similar to Miami, the graduation rates range from 55.8 percent to 82.9 percent with Miami's rate (80.3 percent ) coming in second only to the University of California at San Diego.

Among the factors that university officials cite for Miami's top graduation record:

* 65 percent of first-year students are taught by full-time faculty.

* Academic advisers live in first-year residence halls.

* Tutoring and review sessions are available free or inexpensively.

* Student athletes, fine arts majors and multicultural students are offered help via the Scholastic Enhancement Program, which helps students establish a support network through early contact with staff, peer group events, early advising and careful mentoring.

"Basically, the personal attention Miami provides boosts our graduation rates well above what would be predicted, even considering the exceptional students we enroll," says Mike Mills, director of admission. "And that's important, because getting a degree in a reasonable time frame can literally save families thousands of dollars in tuition."


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