What’s Up With Ohio? 4 of the Top 10 Colleges With the Worst Graduation Rates Are in OH
July 25, 2014

When it comes to college choice, one of the things you should carefully consider is the graduation rate of the school you choose. Some schools will naturally have lower graduation rates because they are stepping stone schools like community colleges. This is not as much of a concern. But if it’s a four year state school with a low graduation rate, it’s something to think long and hard about before signing on to attend. Of the schools with the top 10 worst graduation rates, Ohio shockingly has four.


Ohio colleges rank on list of those with worst graduation rates
Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons User Cindy Funk

Kent State University

Two different campuses of Kent State rate in the top. The East Liverpool campus rates #3 on the top 10 list of worst college graduation rates. With a paltry 8.9% graduation rate, this campus graduates comparatively few of its students. The upside is that the acceptance rate is high – almost 90% of applicants get in and, of those, 51% get Pell Grants. The Tuscarawas campus rated #7 on the list with just a 13.9% graduation rate. Again, the admission criteria must be pretty generous as 90% get in and more than 50% get Pell Grant aid.

Interestingly, in 2012, Kent State launched a marketing campaign with billboards that bragged “#1 in college graduates in Northeast Ohio.” What is true is that, by the numbers, they do graduate more. But as a percentage of those enrolled, Kent State sees an abysmally low number of its students get their foolscap.

Ohio University Southern Campus

Located in Ironton, Ohio, this school rates #6 on the top list. This school only sees 13.7% of its students graduate. Roughly 49.7% get Pell Grants and the acceptance rate is generous at more than 85%. And if you analyze the rates comparing those who graduate within four, five and six years, the news is even worse. According to their 2012 statistics, just 5% of those that attend graduate within four years. The rate nearly doubles to 9.9% after five years and then hits 14.4% after six years, but overall, that’s still less than 30% that make it out overall.

Ohio University at Chillicothe

This Ohio university ranks # 10 on the list of worst colleges for graduation rates with just 15.6% graduating. A little less than half of students (46.7%) get Pell Grants and the acceptance rate is very high at around 85%. About the time that the statistics on poorest school graduation rates was published, The Ironton Tribune defended its state schools to some extent. It says that many of the schools in the university system operate as two year schools and put many students through Associates and certification programs. But would the statistics count certificate and Associates grads as “drop outs”?

Not only should you consider the graduation rate of your prospective university, but also their cohort default rate. This is the rate at which graduates fail to repay their student loans and can be a good indication of how employable graduates of that institutions are and can be a good stat to know to guide your college choice considerations.

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