Higher Ed Report Card Shows Abysmal Track Record For North Dakota Universities

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The Chronicle of Higher Education has new information out for their College Competition database which compares how both public and private universities are performing in the various states. Despite taxpayers having increased spending on higher education by more than 150% over the last decade, and despite North Dakota coming in at #2 in the nation when it comes to state assistance for college students, the North Dakota University System has an abysmal track record.

For instance, the state’s two largest universities graduate only 1 in 2 students after six years, and they’re the best in the state. When you look at some of the smaller four-year institutions, like Minot State and and Dickinson State, the six-year graduation rates are downright appalling:

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The state’s two-year colleges are even worse:

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All four of the state’s two-year universities are graduating less than half of their students after three years. Two of them are graduating about a third.

And for both the two-year and four-year colleges, look at the spending per completion numbers. At the University of North Dakota we’re spending nearly $100,000 for every graduate.

The higher education bureaucrats and their apologists like to talk about the return on investment taxpayers get when we put money into higher education. The taxpayers have certainly put a lot of money in, increasing funding by 150% while enrollment has gone up just 8.5% (and don’t forget that North Dakota student loan debt has increased 125%), but where’s the return on investment when so few of the kids who attend these institutions graduate?

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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