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ETC College Graduation Probability Program - FAQ

Why would I use this program?
Enrolling in college does not guarantee that you will graduate, or succeed afterwards should you graduate. On average, a student now requires 5.3 years to graduate from a 4-year institution. Over 30% of students will not graduate in 6 years. For students with marginal GPA scores or a weak academic plan, the probability of graduating is even worse. Know before you go.

What are the consequences of not graduating college?
Half of all college drop outs will become delinquent on their student loans within 3 years of leaving college. 70% of the college drop-outs that have jobs, are employed in jobs that only require a high school diploma.

Going to college and failing to graduate will likely lead you to a low income job, though you will likely have student loans- which must be paid back. Know before you go.

When should I use this program?
Now. This is the first program you should use for college planning. Use this program as a foundational tool for college and career planning. This program will provide you with the odds for success- invaluable information to have before embarking on the most important and costly endeavor of a young adult’s life.

Families assume that a very high percentage of students graduate from college. They assume that their own child will undoubtedly graduate (no parent would voluntarily send their child into a situation where a costly failure is likely to occur). These assumptions are incorrect and the repercussions are very costly, and can last for a lifetime.

Prior to looking at colleges and of course, prior to reviewing any college rankings system. This program should be your #1 tool in determining whether your child should even go to a 2-year or 4-year college.

As a parent, should I have my child use this program?
Of course you should. A college plan is something you should develop together. In the event that your child's grades are inadequate, but they are insistent on attending a 4-year college; have them consider enrolling in a 2-year college, and then transferring to a 4-year college after they prove their academic competency. This is a relatively low cost, low risk option.

What should I do if my child’s grades show that they’re unlikely to succeed at college?
  1. Be grateful that you know this prior to them spending 6 years in college and tens of thousands of dollars in the process.
  2. Consider having them enroll in a 2-year college or vocational school.
  3. Contact a professional college consultant or counselor and see what other guidance they might offer.

The high school counselor strongly recommended that I send my child to a 4-year college. Do they have access to this same program?
As this program is entirely new and the data are not yet widely known as yet, it's unlikely that your counselor would be familiar with our data. You should absolutely share these results with your high school counselor and then discuss creating a plan that is based on our data and your counselors’ experience.

Be aware that some common assessment programs recommend that every high school graduate enroll in a 4-year college, regardless of grades and other measures of academic proficiency.

Conventional wisdom has always promoted the idea of everyone going to a 4-year college. When did this change?
The cost of college has changed the calculus. 20 years ago, a student could earn their degree for less than $10,000 and if the student didn't graduate, many good vocational and sales jobs were viable career options. Now, average annual tuition is almost $10,000 at most public schools and much higher at private colleges. Career paths are more highly dependent on academic tracks than ever.

College is expensive, in terms of both time and capital. The risk of failure is real as you will see from the data and the cost of failure can easily impair a persons' livelihood, for their entire life. Know before you go.

Are the graduation rates at private colleges similar to public colleges? And what about the graduation rates at for-profit colleges?
Graduation rates at private colleges vary more widely than the graduation rates at public colleges. Elite private colleges have high graduation rates while the graduation rates at less selective colleges are lower than the graduation rates at public colleges. Overall, the graduation rates at private colleges are slightly higher than the graduation rates at public colleges.

Graduation rates at many for-profit colleges are extremely low.

What is the source of data for this program?
The data are derived from surveys collected by various federal government agencies, including the BLS, Federal Reserve, National Center for Education Statistics, the DOL, and the Job Search Intelligence- Master Data Set.