- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire remains among the top states in terms of college students graduating within six years of starting at its four-year public campuses, but it also ranks high in the percentage of students who finish in another state.

The latest report from the National Clearinghouse Research Center tracked students who started college in fall 2008. It found that 78 percent of those who started at University System of New Hampshire schools earned degrees within six years, compared to 63 percent nationally. New Hampshire’s total, which was unchanged from last year, was the second highest this year, behind only Iowa.

The percentage of college graduates starting in New Hampshire and finishing elsewhere increased from 11 to 12 percent, however, making New Hampshire one of 14 states where that percentage was above 10 percent. Higher education officials have said that those figures likely reflect the fact that the three residential institutions that make up the university system - the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University and Keene State College - each enroll at least 40 percent of their undergraduate population from outside New Hampshire. Those students pay considerably higher tuition, and may be unable to afford it for their entire education.

USNH Chancellor Todd Leach focused more on the overall completion rate in praising the report.

“We have focused on providing our students with a high-quality education that puts them on the pathway to success,” he said. “The rates show that our public higher education system is working and doing what it was designed to do, preparing our state’s future workforce.”

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