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Reported Progress under the Student Right-to-Know Act: How Reliable is It?


  • Leslie S Stratton

    () (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

  • James N. Wetzel

    () (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)


The Student Right-to-Know Act requires colleges to provide institution-specific information on graduation rates for students initially enrolling full-time in the fall term. Not all students enroll in that fashion, especially at two-year institutions. We use data on degree-seeking students from the 1996/2001 Beginning Post-Secondary Survey to identify students for whom statistics are and are not reportable under the Act and to track their progress. Results indicate the published progress rates are substantially higher than the progress rates for the non-reportable populations, whether students enter a two-year or a four-year institution. While progress rates for the two samples are significantly correlated within four-year institutions, they are not within two-year institutions. For those beginning at two-year institutions, the progress rates reported under the Student Right-to-Know Act are indicative of neither their absolute nor their relative (cross-institution) probability of success. Policy makers and prospective students will not make efficient decisions without better information.

Suggested Citation

  • Leslie S Stratton & James N. Wetzel, 2008. "Reported Progress under the Student Right-to-Know Act: How Reliable is It?," Working Papers 0804, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0804

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Smith, Christopher L., 2004. "Analyzing the success of student transitions from 2- to 4-year institutions within a state," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 11-28, February.
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    Efficiency; Resource Allocation; Graduation;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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