84% of students who earn their degrees at Northwestern graduate in 4 years or less. In comparison, fewer than two-thirds of students at Iowa's public universities graduate in 4 years or less. The rest take 5 or 6 years to complete their education. Only 16% of our graduates take more than 4 years to finish college.
In compliance with the Student Right to Know (SRTK) and Campus Security Act of 1990, Northwestern College reports our completion rate—also called our graduation rate. This isn't the same as the 87% reported above because a college's completion, or graduation, rate is the percentage of students who make it all the way from enrolling as freshmen to graduation. Our most recent completion rate is 69%.
It's important when comparing college's graduation rates to know exactly what they're reporting: Are they reporting the percentage of students who make it from freshman year to graduation, or are they reporting the percentage of graduates who complete college in four years or less? Two different things.
If you have questions, contact your admissions counselor.