FSU impresses with 68 percent 4-year graduation rate

The fountain in front of the Westcott Building is a popular place for photos.
Photo submitted by Larry Mitchell

Florida State University’s 68 percent four-year graduation rate is a record for a school in Florida’s State University System.

This data was taken from the SUS’s Accountability Plan reports this past summer.

“This wonderful news is the result of hard work and creative thinking by faculty and staff across campus,” President John Thrasher told fsu.edu of the record-setting accomplishment.

The national average rate for students graduating after four years is only 33 percent. The University of Florida, which is ranked in the top 10 in the country by U.S. News & World Report among public schools, is at 66 percent. To put things into further perspective, Florida A&M University is at 22 percent.  

“FSU has the resources to succeed at creating a well-rounded experience or environment for most students,” said Chelsie Lyons, a graduate student at FSU. “Between the activities offered on campus, the social aspect, academics, and academic support, I think the majority of students can go here and an all-around fulfilling college experience.”

Florida State has a direct focus on bringing students who are first in their families to attend college with its Center for Academic & Enhancement (CARE) program. These students alone have some of the highest retention and graduation rates at the school.

The programs include the “Take 15 initiative” that was built for students that want to take 15 credit hours a semester in order to graduate in four years.

“The support of the faculty, teachers, and support staff helped guide me through my whole experience,” said Desmond Williams, a graduating sports management major who transferred from Tallahassee Community College two years ago. “Any questions or problems I had were met with a solution.”

Having the necessary resources and the full, competent support from the university makes all the difference for a student when it comes to handling the pressures of college. There are many distractions that life brings to the table for an 18-22-year-old young adult that can deter them from acquiring their degree on time.

Florida State University has created the standard for higher education institutions in the state of Florida. Though equipped with more funding for certain programs, the solid infrastructure from the administration to the faculty has allowed the students to embrace the pressures of finishing college in four years.