Jay Ponteri, English faculty, will be a guest author on Sugar Radio, hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond on February 14, 2016.
Looking at national college rankings and data? Puzzled about what you're seeing – or not seeing – about Marylhurst?
We're hard to compare to other universities, because we're not like most other universities.
For most of our students, school is just one of many responsibilities in their lives. Very few come to us straight out of high school. They're working full- or part-time. They're raising families and caring for parents. They're homeowners. They're community volunteers. In short, they need college to work around their lives – not vice versa.
Who is a typical Marylhurst undergraduate student? (fall 2014 snapshot)
100% transfer credits from other colleges and universities
76% study part time (average course load is 9 credits per term)
64% take some of their classes online, and 13 percent study completely online
71% are women
36% are in their 20s
26% are in their 30s
20% are in their 40s
Marylhurst graduated more than 200 undergraduate students in 2014. So why do some national information sources report a low Marylhurst graduation rate?
Nationally reported graduation rates are based on the number of first-time, full-time college students who enroll in fall and graduate within five or six years.
About 95 percent of Marylhurst students are NOT first-time, full-time college students.
They enroll year-round and usually transfer in credits from other institutions. And most Marylhurst students study part-time, not full-time.
This means our reported "graduation rate" is based on the experiences of a few students.
Our students DO graduate; we've awarded more than 200 bachelor's degrees in each of the past five years. Rigid formulas just don't present an accurate picture of universities like ours that serve primarily non-traditional students.
Want an outside view ? Here's 2014 analysis by national higher education reporter Clare McCann.
Marylhurst chooses not to participate in the U.S. News & World Report rating survey. Why?
Marylhurst University isn't eligible to be ranked because we don't use SAT or ACT scores as a determining factor in admitting students. We don't consider that a bad thing, because the U.S. News & World Report college rankings process isn't set up to measure universities like ours:
- The survey focuses on schools serving students coming directly out of high school. Marylhurst doesn't have many of those students.
- The survey measures graduation rates based on how many first-time, full-time freshmen complete their degrees in four years. At Marylhurst, that description of freshmen represents no more than 5 percent of our undergraduates.
Note: The information here pertains to our undergraduate population. Graduate student information is not included here.
Data gathered by the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Enrollment Management.