Report: Four-Year Institutions Failing Pell Grant Recipients

Posted by Third Way on May 14, 2018

By Bill DeBaun, Director of Data and Evaluation, National College Access Network

Four-year institutions are failing the low- and moderate-income Pell Grant recipients they serve, according to a report released last week by Third Way. It shows that just 49 percent of first-time, full-time Pell Grant recipients from the entering class of 2010 earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, and only 47 percent of institutions graduated more than half of the Pell Grant recipients who initially enrolled. At the bottom end of the distribution, the picture is even bleaker: Just 16 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduated within six years at the 214 institutions with Pell Grant graduation rates lower than 25 percent.

As if its top-line findings were not depressing enough, the report also notes that there a national completion rate gap of 18 percent between Pell Grant recipients and non-recipients, that 80 percent of institutions had higher non-recipient graduation rates than recipient graduation rates, and that the average gap across institution was seven percentage points.

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