Low graduation rate not an exact reflection of OLLU students

By Mariana Salazar

As college students, finding a university that’s feasible enough to attend is quite the process. We must take everything into consideration: location, cost, environment, academics, and size, to simply name a few. However, the biggest question we should ask ourselves is, “Is it worth it in the long run?” Education is always worth the hard work, but we must evaluate if the cost of the university, along with our efforts, will take us to where we want to be in life after graduation. That being said, when choosing a university, students will take a look at the school’s graduation percent rate.

As many of us have heard, OLLU, sadly, is not where it wants to be in terms of graduation percentage. With a 31 percent graduation rate, it is possible that many incoming freshmen might consider going elsewhere, where they believe their opportunities of succeeding may be higher. This impression can integrate the thought that our university is not up to date with helping its students reach their common goal: graduating.

Contrary to popular belief, our students are graduating. In fact, they are not just graduating, but moving along to successful careers and many are continuing their studies in graduate school. So why is our graduation rate so low? OLLU is home to many transfer students that are offered many opportunities, opting them to leave their previous school for what they believe is a better investment. However, all these students are not being counted upon graduating. This is due to the fact that only students who come to OLLU as incoming freshmen and stay throughout their entire college career will be counted.

This excludes the grand majority of the OLLU student population and, as a result, gives our university an unfair status. Being that OLLU is a private university, we must also take into consideration that it is very common to have students transfer out after their first or second year due to financial reasons, meaning they have nothing to do with our staff not being capable of helping its students succeed. Many times, students lose their financial aid or realize that they are getting too far in debt, and decide to opt out, causing our graduation rate to decrease.

It is important to explain this percentage policy to incoming freshmen or possible transfer students so that they are not discouraged from being part of our community.

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