Whitman’s average four, five and six-year graduation rates are the highest in the state of Washington, among the best in the west and rank in the top-30 among national liberal arts colleges.

Links

41 percent in state don't finish college within 6 years
Seattle Times - June 3, 2009

How graduation rates stack up
USA Today - June 3, 2009

But the news is even better than reported in recent Seattle Times and USA Today articles about graduation rates within and across the states, since they included old data.

Whitman’s current average 6-year rate is 89 percent. The 2002 cohort rate is an exceptional 92 percent. The current average 4-year rate is 80 percent.

“Graduation rate is a key factor for students and parents when considering colleges,” says Tony Cabasco, Whitman’s dean of admission and financial aid. “It’s an often overlooked aspect by students and parents, but at Whitman it is an important metric because it directly reflects the level of academic and student support. It’s an indicator of overall student success, and Whitman’s numbers continue to rise.”

Whitman President George Bridges says “The college looks carefully in the admissions process for students we believe will fit with the culture and expectations of this campus," and we devote significant resources into student services and support. Students receive the greatest possible level of support, both in academics and co-curricular activities. At Whitman, we believe that contributes to our high retention and graduation rates.  Yet Whitman students graduate with about the same amount of debt as UW, for example.”

Seattle Times reporter Nick Perry reported that statewide, “only 59 percent of Washington university students graduate from the college they start at within six years,” but that is better than most states. Washington is ranked ninth, according to the study, “Diplomas and Dropouts,” put out by the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.