Reported Progress Under the Student Right-to-Know Act: How Reliable is it?

32 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2006

See all articles by Leslie S. Stratton

Leslie S. Stratton

Virginia Commonwealth University - School of Business - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

James N. Wetzel

Virginia Commonwealth University

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

The Student Right-to-Know Act requires colleges to provide institution-specific information on graduation rates for students initially enrolling full-time in the fall term. Not all students, however, initially enroll full-time or in the fall term. We use longitudinal data on academic, degree-seeking students from the 1996/2001 Beginning Post-Secondary Survey to identify those students for whom statistics are and are not reported under the Act and to track their relative progress at two- and four-year institutions. We also examine the intra-institution correlation between reported and unreported students' progress to determine if the published statistics will at least allow relative comparisons. Our results indicate that the published progress rates are substantially higher than the progress rates for the unreported populations. Furthermore, while these rates are relatively comprehensive for and comparable across four-year institutions, they are neither for two-year institutions. Policy makers and prospective students will not make efficient decisions using such unreliable information.

Keywords: efficiency, resource allocation, graduation

JEL Classification: I28

Suggested Citation

Stratton, Leslie S. and Wetzel, James N., Reported Progress Under the Student Right-to-Know Act: How Reliable is it? (November 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2448, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=947472

Leslie S. Stratton (Contact Author)

Virginia Commonwealth University - School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 844000
Richmond, VA 23284-4000
United States
804-828-7141 (Phone)
804-828-1719 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

James N. Wetzel

Virginia Commonwealth University ( email )

1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284
United States

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