Public Universities With 50% or Better Graduation Rates

US map showing public university graduation ratesThe idea behind the 50-50 school listing is to identify colleges that meet a basic standard, graduation rates, while accepting more students than they reject. However, acceptance rates of 50% or better do not guarantee accessibility for many students. The fact is that the majority of the 50-50 schools are private and not all are generous with their financial aid.

Approximately 70% of full-time students attending four-year colleges, are at public universities and colleges. The United States as a society has looked to its public universities as the great equalizer, providing access to a quality higher education for those who couldn’t afford it otherwise.

Public University Graduation Rates

Never mind the fact that with the cost of attendance at many state institutions approaching $30,000, they may not be as accessible as they once were. Ultimately, if students don’t graduate, there is no “equalizing” benefit. Of the 654 public four-year institutions in the United States, only 193 report a five-year graduation rate of 49% or better. Of those, 35 accept less than 49% of students.

A closer look at public university graduation rates by states isn’t encouraging. Nine states, including the District of Columbia, don’t have any public institution with a 49% or better graduation rate. In California, of the 12 public universities with graduation rates of 49% or better, only 4 admit 49% or more of students. In Pennsylvania, however, all 24 universities with a 49% or better graduation rate admit 49% or more of applicants.

The following table lists public four-institutions with 500 or more full-time undergraduates and a five-year graduation rate of 49% or better.

State Universities With 50% or Better 5-Year Graduation Rates
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5 yr
Auburn UniversityAL180116383
The University of AlabamaAL265486257
University of ArkansasAR185655559
Arizona State University-PolytechnicAZ27895175
Arizona State University-TempeAZ349895580
Arizona State University-WestAZ26945076
University of ArizonaAZ284015877
California Maritime AcademyCA10085775
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoCA180586131
San Diego State UniversityCA240375931
University of California-BerkeleyCA252208918
University of California-DavisCA258267745
University of California-IrvineCA231278442
University of California-Los AngelesCA280848822
University of California-MercedCA57764976
University of California-RiversideCA182056262
University of California-San DiegoCA231528138
University of California-Santa BarbaraCA190767944
University of California-Santa CruzCA153236960
Colorado School of MinesCO40806637
Colorado State University-Fort CollinsCO204005977
United States Air Force AcademyCO39938615
University of Colorado BoulderCO239486688
United States Coast Guard AcademyCT9029116
University of ConnecticutCT172198154
University of Connecticut-StamfordCT9245941
University of DelawareDE168527965
Florida State UniversityFL289107457
New College of FloridaFL7936461
University of Central FloridaFL362296149
University of FloridaFL303148347
University of South Florida-Main CampusFL237345745
Georgia College and State UniversityGA52645868
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main CampusGA132917655
University of GeorgiaGA247468056
Iowa State UniversityIA261776383
University of IowaIA195226780
University of Northern IowaIA93306283
Eastern Illinois UniversityIL73275662
Illinois State UniversityIL166836869
University of Illinois at ChicagoIL154025171
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIL315168262
Western Illinois UniversityIL88055159
Ball State UniversityIN151285661
Indiana University-BloomingtonIN310507472
Purdue University-Main CampusIN286596460
Kansas State UniversityKS181105396
University of KansasKS171935692
University of KentuckyKY198845569
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical CollegeLA228116276
Bridgewater State UniversityMA80345279
Massachusetts College of Art and DesignMA16777170
Massachusetts College of Liberal ArtsMA13535467
Massachusetts Maritime AcademyMA13336477
University of Massachusetts-AmherstMA205057163
Westfield State UniversityMA49995775
Salisbury UniversityMD73746455
St Mary's College of MarylandMD17627872
Towson UniversityMD165886160
United States Naval AcademyMD4526887
University of Maryland-Baltimore CountyMD95085963
University of Maryland-College ParkMD245228247
Maine Maritime AcademyME9797265
University of MaineME79225181
University of Maine at FarmingtonME17835384
Central Michigan UniversityMI178805163
Grand Valley State UniversityMI186866383
Michigan State UniversityMI348387469
Michigan Technological UniversityMI51985877
University of Michigan-Ann ArborMI273168833
University of Minnesota-DuluthMN89895478
University of Minnesota-MorrisMN18156158
University of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMN289407244
Winona State UniversityMN73545161
Missouri State University-SpringfieldMO138055085
Missouri University of Science and TechnologyMO54725682
Truman State UniversityMO53757072
University of Central MissouriMO82905081
University of Missouri-ColumbiaMO252586779
Mississippi State UniversityMS150485565
University of MississippiMS156285459
Appalachian State UniversityNC151156463
East Carolina UniversityNC185005262
North Carolina State University at RaleighNC214696850
University of North Carolina at AshevilleNC31295664
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNC175708828
University of North Carolina at GreensboroNC124695060
University of North Carolina School of the ArtsNC7815945
University of North Carolina WilmingtonNC114086854
University of Nebraska-LincolnNE181026164
Keene State CollegeNH45386282
Plymouth State UniversityNH37955477
University of New Hampshire at ManchesterNH5995673
University of New Hampshire-Main CampusNH120637878
Montclair State UniversityNJ133565865
Ramapo College of New JerseyNJ49927155
Rowan UniversityNJ93486559
Rutgers University-New BrunswickNJ317597660
Rutgers University-NewarkNJ58276054
The College of New JerseyNJ64558243
The Richard Stockton College of New JerseyNJ69536162
CUNY Bernard M Baruch CollegeNY103966025
State University of New York at New PaltzNY60606844
Stony Brook UniversityNY148926339
SUNY at AlbanyNY120556455
SUNY at BinghamtonNY125597943
SUNY at FredoniaNY49456352
SUNY at Purchase CollegeNY38475833
SUNY College at BrockportNY64116448
SUNY College at CortlandNY62816747
SUNY College at GeneseoNY53867746
SUNY College at OswegoNY69545649
SUNY College at PlattsburghNY51865846
SUNY College at PotsdamNY35964968
SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryNY16476951
SUNY OneontaNY56756951
United States Merchant Marine AcademyNY95874
United States Military AcademyNY4591839
University at BuffaloNY180916857
Bowling Green State University-Main CampusOH133875172
Miami University-OxfordOH150017967
Ohio State University-Main CampusOH400208156
Ohio University-Main CampusOH167566473
University of Cincinnati-Main CampusOH203325873
Oklahoma State University-Main CampusOK177935576
University of Oklahoma-Norman CampusOK175595980
Oregon State UniversityOR184845579
University of OregonOR188926274
Bloomsburg University of PennsylvaniaPA88136089
California University of PennsylvaniaPA56495093
Clarion University of PennsylvaniaPA43735193
East Stroudsburg University of PennsylvaniaPA54955478
Kutztown University of PennsylvaniaPA82795182
Millersville University of PennsylvaniaPA65845872
Pennsylvania State University-Main CampusPA388268354
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State AltoonaPA36456785
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State BerksPA24025483
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State DuboisPA5575088
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend CollegePA36836684
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State HarrisburgPA31215680
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State HazletonPA8815086
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Lehigh ValleyPA7195185
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont AltoPA7375183
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New KensingtonPA5245174
Shippensburg University of PennsylvaniaPA62195383
Slippery Rock University of PennsylvaniaPA70576067
Temple UniversityPA247436164
University of Pittsburgh-BradfordPA13615185
University of Pittsburgh-GreensburgPA15645093
University of Pittsburgh-JohnstownPA27535190
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusPA174837956
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaPA124636552
University of Rhode IslandRI118295679
Citadel Military College of South CarolinaSC25176780
Clemson UniversitySC160507958
College of CharlestonSC97086270
University of South Carolina-ColumbiaSC225337061
Winthrop UniversitySC44325272
South Dakota State UniversitySD86465292
University of South DakotaSD47325188
The University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleTN197996272
Texas A & M University-College StationTX396417569
Texas State UniversityTX256835175
Texas Tech UniversityTX243385466
The University of Texas at AustinTX368997540
The University of Texas at DallasTX106355959
University of UtahUT173194982
Christopher Newport UniversityVA49626459
College of William and MaryVA61958933
George Mason UniversityVA172616162
James Madison UniversityVA175268064
Longwood UniversityVA41236281
Radford UniversityVA85455678
University of Mary WashingtonVA38437381
University of Virginia-Main CampusVA150899230
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVA197465169
Virginia Military InstituteVA16757447
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityVA235128070
Castleton State CollegeVT18544992
University of VermontVT97647578
Central Washington UniversityWA89965082
The Evergreen State CollegeWA37665397
University of Washington-Bothell CampusWA34326176
University of Washington-Seattle CampusWA270507855
Washington State UniversityWA203126282
Western Washington UniversityWA129426484
University of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireWI95086076
University of Wisconsin-La CrosseWI91886272
University of Wisconsin-MadisonWI285687968
University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointWI86505283
University of Wisconsin-StoutWI68204989
University of Wisconsin-WhitewaterWI98894985
West Virginia UniversityWV210275385

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