HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new report is raising questions about low completion rates and other disappointing quality metrics at private, nonprofit colleges nationwide, including those in the islands.
The report, from Washington, D.C-based think tank Third Way, found that at a typical four-year private college, only 55 percent of full-time freshmen graduate, and just 63 percent who got federal loans earned salaries above $25,000 six years after enrollment.
The analysis included four colleges in Hawaii: New Hope Christian College, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University, and Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
Together, the four have a six-year completion rate of just 37 percent, tying with New Mexico for the lowest showing on the metric.
New Hope Christian College had the lowest graduation rate in Hawaii: 22 percent. Chaminade's graduation rate was 37 percent, while HPU's was 40 percent. BYU-Hawaii's grad rate was 47 percent.
(The graduation rate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is 56 percent.)
The analysis did find that more than half of students who got federal loans at three of the Hawaii institutions – Chaminade, BYU-Hawaii, and HPU -- were earning more than $25,000 six years after enrollment.
Third Way compared the low completion rates at many private colleges to high school "dropout factories." In fact, the analysis found, at 74 percent of the private institutions, less than two-thirds of students graduate.
"This degree of institutional failure goes well beyond the current discussion about rising tuition costs to the very essence of what colleges spend billions of dollars purporting to do: Provide an education worthy of the time and cost associated with it," the report's authors said.
"This analysis begs the question, what can be done about the quality crisis in our nation's colleges?"
To see completion rates and other quality metrics for colleges nationwide, click here.