WASHINGTON - According to research from the National Student Clearinghouse, only 4 in 10 students who entered college in 2007 have earned degrees from the school where they started.
The nonprofit organization works with colleges to verify students' enrollment and graduation status (more than 3,500 schools cooperated with the study).
Overall, 56% of those who started college in 2007 have finished their coursework on any campus. About 29% of those who started college that year are no longer taking classes toward a degree.
Graduation rates are one piece of the U.S. Department of Education's still-emerging college rating system. The Education Department wants to pressure colleges to keep costs down and perhaps link federal financial aid to their performances.