US: Challenge, expectations sway graduation rates

Researchers studying how to improve graduation rates at US public colleges and universities have come up with a surprising and counter-intuitive finding: many students may fail to complete a bachelor degree not because the work is too hard - but because they're not challenged enough - writes Mary Beth Marklein in USA Today.

It is well known that colleges with the most selective admissions criteria tend to have the highest graduation rates. But even when researchers compared groups of students who had similar academic qualifications, they consistently found that those attending schools with the more demanding academic requirements were more likely to graduate.

"There is a net effect related to selectivity that is powerful," says Princeton University president emeritus William Bowen, lead author of Crossing the Finish Line: Completing college at America's public universities, which was published last week.
Full report on the USA Today site