Ever heard of Thomas University? Us either. But according to College Results Online, a website which uses data from National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System to rank U.S. colleges in terms of 6-year graduation rates, Thomas has the highest graduation rate* in the country -- a perfect 100 percent in 2008. (Southeastern University in Washington, D.C. also had a graduation rate of 100 percent in 2008, but the school has been "inactive" since 2009.)
Thomas University President Gary Bonvillian said that the school's high graduation rate can be linked to its retention rate of over 90 percent, a figure which has jumped significantly since 2008 -- according to College Results Online, Thomas' graduation rate at the time was around 42 percent. Bonvillian added that the school is committed to taking a proactive approach to interacting with students, and that it has employed intervention techniques to help students "not just on the academic front, [but] also on the life-issues front."
At College of the Holy Cross, which has a 98.1 percent graduation rate, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Timothy Austin said graduating -- and doing so in four years -- is a matter of student culture. "Students here don't call themselves freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors," he said. "They call themselves class of [graduation year]. So right from the get-go they are targeting that date when they are going to cross the stage together."
Below, check out the 15 colleges and universities with the highest national graduation rates according to College Results Online. Click here for the full list as well as profiles of each school.
Did your school make the cut? Let us know in the comments section.
*Data set includes public and private bachelor's, master's and research level non-profit institutions between zero and 300,000 students.