Louisiana State University announced Wednesday a record 67 percent of students who started college in 2006 graduated within six years. That’s up from 62 percent of the cohort that started in 2005.
LSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell attributes the improvement to increased support for freshmen. Faculty and staff reach out to students struggling in their first semester with services including tutoring and counseling.
20 years ago, when LSU ended open enrollment, the graduation rate was less than 40 percent. The rate has topped 60 percent for the past five years.
But Bell says the ability of Louisiana high schools to prepare students for college continues to be an obstacle to retention.
“There are some school districts that are better funded, that are able to provide greater AP courses, maybe greater advanced course preparation for students. Some students just haven’t had the opportunity, if you will, to see what college-level courses may look like.”
Starting with students applying for the fall of 2007, the university has been ratcheting up its admissions standards.