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I was looking at some numbers (a couple years old) for 4- and 6-year graduation rates and Oberlin's numbers weren't clustered among the LACs that it's typically clustered with for other statistics, from tuition to SATs and beyond.
Its 4-year graduation rate is 66%. It goes up to 82% for 6-years, but that's still below the 4-year graduation rate for all (or, depending on how you slice things up, nearly all) of the other schools it typically compares with.
That 66% is in a league with (yet still barely below): Spelman, St. Thomas Aquinas, Beacon, Drew, St. Anselm, Puget Sound, Sweet Briar, Lewis and Clark, Hampden-Sydney
The significantly improved 82% number puts it in the company of Beacon, Dickinson, F&M, Grove City, Illinois Wesleyan, Occidental, Mount Holyoke and Skidmore (among others).
There are two concerns here that I can't get a handle on from numbers: (1) What is the dynamic that has 1 out of 6 students graduating in years 5 or 6? (2) Why are just as many not graduating at all (or more than 6 years later, which is long after I'd tap out from the expense of it all)?
Does the Conservatory skew the numbers in some way? Is there some, "Oh! I see! Well that makes sense now!" explanation for this that would rebut or soften the negative presumptions that these numbers create? What's going on here that I'm missing and should know about (for better, hopefully, or for worse)? Thanks in advance for your insights!