An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Big Sandy Superstore Arena was full of excitement Sunday as about 450 Marshall University students received undergraduate and graduate degrees at Winter Commencement.
The event not only celebrated their hard work and commitment, but it also recognizes the new opportunities that graduation offers each student whether it is a job or advanced education.
Sadly, in our region of the country, many of those who start college never finish. In Ohio, about 53 percent of students beginning a four-year program get their degree in six years, and in Kentucky and West Virginia, the graduation rate is about 47 percent. For two-year programs, the “drop out” rate is even higher, with 20 percent or less completing their degree.
This week, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission reported that the graduation rates at West Virginia University and Marshall were up slightly to 57 percent and 45 percent, respectively, but down at the rest of the state’s public four-year institutions.
For the students who don’t finish and for the public that supports the schools with their tax dollars, that is a lot of time and money down the drain…