college graduation rates

The University of Central Missouri is taking aggressive steps designed to boost the number of students graduating in four years.

The Warrensburg school will require most incoming freshman to live in residence halls for two years, add academic advisers and encourage students to pick majors earlier. It also will offer tuition breaks for seniors who've taken full class loads their first three years.

The school has dubbed the effort the Learning to a Greater Degree Contract. The changes will take effect this fall.

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The Missouri Department of Higher Education recently received $500,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to increase the number of Associate’s Degree recipients in the state.

Thanks to a new initiative from five foundations and 12 states, more students might be able to receive a degree through the process of  “reverse transfer.” This happens when a student has enough credits for an Associate’s Degree from a two-year college, but for some reason didn’t finish.

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Nearly 500 universities across the country, including MU, have signed on to an initiative to increase the number of college graduates in the United States by 2025.

Peter McPherson is the CEO of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, one of the organizations involved with an initiative to ensure that 60 percent of adults have a college degree by 2025. He says schools, including MU, were involved in determining the goals of the initiative.