Study abroad could improve college graduation rates. From the Inside Higher Ed article “Study Abroad, Graduate on Time” by Elizabeth Redden (here):
….. At the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, for example, institutional research shows that 64.5 percent of students who study abroad graduate in four years, compared to 41 percent of students who don’t; at the five-year mark the numbers increase to 90 percent for participants, and 58.6 percent for nonparticipants. At the University of California at San Diego, five-year graduation rates are 92 percent for study abroad participants, and 78 percent for non- participants. Higher graduation rates for students who study abroad can be observed across a wide variety of variables, including race, gender, major, first-generation status, parental income, SAT score, and grade-point average…..
…. Furthermore, a recent study by Heather Barclay Hamir at the University of Texas at Austin found that the effect of study abroad was particularly pronounced among students with lower freshman G.P.A.s: students with a 2.0 who studied abroad were 30 percent more likely to graduate in four years than nonparticipants, and 45 percent more likely to graduate in five years. Hamir, the director of study abroad at UT Austin, said the finding has led her to broaden study abroad options for academically at-risk students, identifying four semesterlong programs that will accept students with a 2.0 GPA rather than the previous minimum, a 2.5…..