Posted on November 29, 2011

Coppin State University Moves to Improve Its Low Graduation Rate

Daniel de Vise, Washington Post, November 26, 2011

Few American colleges would mark a 15 percent graduation rate as a turning point.

But at Coppin State University, 15 percent is two points better than last year’s rate–a first, tentative step out of the graduation gutter.

Coppin, a historically black institution founded in 1900 at what was then called Baltimore’s Colored High School, has the lowest graduation rate of any traditional public college in Maryland.

In the past 10 years, the quotient has declined from the mid-20s to the mid-teens.


Coppin has the lowest graduation rate in the state system partly because it attracts the least-prepared students. Top black students from Baltimore city schools are lured to the University of Maryland or the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Three-quarters of those who enroll at Coppin require academic remediation.


The University System of Maryland pledged to halve its “graduation gap” by 2015, which means narrowing the 21-point spread between completion rates for underrepresented minorities and other students. {snip}

Twelve percent of freshmen at the University of the District of Columbia graduate within six years, according to a Washington Post analysis of completion rates for three recent class years. The graduation rate is 32 percent at Norfolk State University, 34 percent at Morgan State in Baltimore and 36 percent at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. All four are historically black institutions.