BATON ROUGE, La.—For the third year in a row LSU has notched an all-time high graduation rate, with 69.1 percent of students walking away from the university with a degree in hand—the highest graduation rate out of all public universities in the state.
The Advocate reports LSU saw 66.7 percent of eligible students graduate the prior year.
The rates are determined by calculating the number of first-time freshmen who complete school within six continuous years at the same institution.
It means that LSU had its most successful period ever in enrolling students in 2007 and shepherding them through to graduation by the end of 2013.
LSU’s numbers were calculated internally and won’t be official until they are validated by the State Board of Regents. Public colleges and universities are not required to submit their numbers to the Regents until later in the year, meaning LSU’s figures can’t yet be compared with those of other schools.
The Regents confirmed that preliminary information indicates LSU’s graduation rate is tops in the state among public institutions.
LSU’s numbers represent a dramatic shift from 20 years ago when the university’s graduation rate was 44.2 percent.
LSU President and Baton Rouge Chancellor F. King Alexander said Tuesday that LSU also graduated its second-largest class in history during the 2012-13 academic year, with 6,093 students walking away with diplomas.
“It means that our faculty and staff are doing an excellent job despite challenging economic times for education,” Alexander said. “We are serving our students better than we ever had in the past.”
LSU’s rising graduation rate is good news in a state where education policy has shifted from trying to enroll as many students as possible, to today’s reality in which schools are judged on how well they serve the students they have.
A large portion of the money public universities get from the state is tied to how well they retain students from year to year and how many students earn a degree within six years of enrolling at a four-year school.