The average annual cost of attending an Alabama college ranges from almost $29,000 to about $8,500. Graduation rates vary from 70 percent to 26 percent. And the chances of a college’s former students earning more than $25,000 a year vary widely too.
In an analysis published Tuesday, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama focused on cost, outcome and other statistics for the state’s colleges, and discussed factors involved in those numbers. The information from colleges nationwide was released last month by the U.S. Department of Education in its College Scorecard.
A challenge for Alabama colleges is the connection among students’ high school preparation, poverty and eventual college graduation rates, Parca found.
“ On the whole, at colleges where students enter with higher ACT scores, the graduation rate is higher. Schools with a high percentage of students from low-income households … tend to have lower graduation rates. Students at those schools also tend to enter college at a lower level of readiness.
“Raising admissions standards would likely boost graduation rates, but it would also restrict college access. Some schools particularly, historically black institutions, consider outreach to poor and underprepared students as an integral part of their mission. …”
“ However, if unprepared students are admitted and don’t succeed, they are left with debts they’ll have difficulty paying. …”
You can find Parca’s complete report at: