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The HIGHEST Graduation Rates Among 4-Year Colleges (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 05/14/10 06:48 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:30 PM ET

Using U.S. Department of Education data, scholars at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research last year tabulated the highest and lowest graduation rates at four-year colleges across the country (pdf of the report here). The researchers split colleges into six groups -- noncompetitive, less competitive, competitive, very competitive, highly competitive and most competitive -- and reported the top ten and bottom ten schools in each group.

In a summation of the report, the researchers offer a caveat:

We do not argue that high graduation rates are invariably a good sign or low graduation rates necessarily a bad one. After all, an easy way to pad graduation rates is to drop standards and hand a diploma to every student who walks through the door. And we do not want to suggest that modest differences in graduation rates should be overemphasized -- that is why we focus on the extremes.

Here, we've put into pictures the the top ten most competitive schools with the highest graduation rates, ranging from 97 to 94 percent.

What do you think? Are you surprised?

Harvard University: 97%
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Harvard tops the list with an astounding 97 percent of its students graduating in four years. Above, Justin Timberlake is honored as the school's 2010 Hasty Pudding Man of the Year.

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Filed by Leah Finnegan  |