College News

Record number of degrees awarded attributed to improved advising, summer course options

The number of degrees UW-Madison has awarded increased by 32 percent over the past two decades — Chancellor Rebecca Blank attributes this success to improved advising and summer course options. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

The graduation rate for students of color increased 75 percent over the past decade. However, they still compose only about 13 percent of the whole graduating population, according to the 2017-’18 UW System progress and completion report.  

The total number of degrees awarded by the UW System has increased by nearly 13 percent over the past decade, reaching 36,825 students in 2017-’18 academic year.

“Students and parents recognize that Wisconsin’s public universities are accessible and affordable, and these graduation numbers indicate that UW System faculty and staff are doing a great job helping students progress toward a degree,” UW System President Ray Cross said in an announcement.

UW Madison awarded 10,940 degrees this past academic year, increasing the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded by 32 percent over the past two decades. The number of graduate and professional degrees awarded also increased by 17 percent.

The number of degrees UW Madison has awarded to students of color have increased by 68 percent over the past decade, setting a new record of 1,614 students in 2017-’18. 

Chancellor Rebecca Blank mentioned UW-Madison’s graduate success in her annual address to the Regents, noting the decreased time-to-degree, increased six-year graduation rate, shrinking graduation gap between all students and students from underrepresented groups as well as lowering the number of undergraduates taking on student debt.

Improved advising as well as expanding summer course options provides increased flexibility for students to complete their degree, stated Blank. 

Aside from the importance of aiding academic opportunities and success for the growth of the graduating population, affordability also plays a significant role. 

“We need to make sure that every student who can qualify for admission at UW-Madison can afford to come,” Blank said.

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