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The 15 US states with the lowest college graduation rates

Business Insider Logo By Andy Kiersz of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 16: 
  Graduation rates vary widely among US colleges and
  universities.
  
  Using data from the Department of Education, we found a
  weighted average of graduation rates for colleges and
  universities located in each state and DC.
  
  Colleges in many states in the South and Mountain West had
  relatively low graduation rates.
  
  
    Visit
    Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
  

  
    Colleges across the US have different graduation rates, and as
    the map above shows, those rates vary from state to state.
  
  
    The Department of
    Education provides data on the share of
    undergraduate students who complete their degree within 150% of
    the expected time - that is, graduating within six years for a
    standard four-year bachelor's degree. For each state, we took
    an average of those graduation rates among all the colleges and
    universities in that state that mainly award bachelor's
    degrees, as opposed to certificate programs or associates
    degrees.
  
  
    Those graduation rates were among first-time, full-time
    students who entered college in the 2011-2012 academic year,
    six years before the 2017-2018 year, the most recent year for
    which data was available. State rates were calculated by taking
    the average rate among all schools in-state, weighted by the
    size of each school's entering class in 2011.
  
  
    Here are the 15 states with the lowest weighted average college
    graduation rate:

  • Graduation rates vary widely among US colleges and universities.
  • Using data from the Department of Education, we found a weighted average of graduation rates for colleges and universities located in each state and DC.
  • Colleges in many states in the South and Mountain West had relatively low graduation rates.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Colleges across the US have different graduation rates, and as the map above shows, those rates vary from state to state.

The Department of Education provides data on the share of undergraduate students who complete their degree within 150% of the expected time - that is, graduating within six years for a standard four-year bachelor's degree. For each state, we took an average of those graduation rates among all the colleges and universities in that state that mainly award bachelor's degrees, as opposed to certificate programs or associates degrees.

Those graduation rates were among first-time, full-time students who entered college in the 2011-2012 academic year, six years before the 2017-2018 year, the most recent year for which data was available. State rates were calculated by taking the average rate among all schools in-state, weighted by the size of each school's entering class in 2011.

Here are the 15 states with the lowest weighted average college graduation rate:

© Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from US Department of Education

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