Published on:

11 Worst Colleges: Graduation Rates

There has been a lot of debate of late about whether college is for everyone. Robert Samuelson, a noted economist, wrote a editorial in the Washington Post a few weeks ago arguing that the ” college-for-all crusade” is one of those utopia dreams that should come to an end for the good of the U.S. economy.

I agree with this premise: there is little economic utility in trying to get every student to go to college. But I think Samuelson fails to fully appreciate that there is more to life than economics. If a student tries two years of college and fails, he is likely to make less money over the course of his life than if he had gone to, let’s say, trade school. Okay. But is he a better and happier person for the experience? In 2012, we seem to funnel everything through economics. Isn’t there more to life than just money? Couldn’t we at least talk about it?

Anyway, MSN Money put out today a list of the 11 worst public universities by graduation rate. In spite of my little speech above, schools have to give students some chance of success. If kids are just taking out loans and not being properly supported in the path to graduation, that is no opportunity at all.


Two area schools made the list. Coppin State came in at #11 (which had to be bitter it was not a Top 10 list) and the University of the District of Columbia came in at #2. The big winner was the Southern University at New Orleans which has 75.8% of its students receiving Pell Grants and 4% of its students walking across the stage. Admittedly, it has cheap tuition – $3,906 a year – but I would like to hear a good explanation as to why this school is allowed to remain open.