What Percentage of College Students in USA Graduate in 5 Years?

What Percentage of College Students in USA Graduate in 5 Years?

Studies have shown that over 40% of job openings across the United States require a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree. It has been a critical requirement in various prominent fields, including Engineering, Medical, and other disciplines. Acquiring a degree makes an individual more confident in their outlook and approach. Let’s know What Percentage of College Students in USA Graduate in 5 Years?

Various colleges have been offering flexible Degree options for students working part-time or having financial troubles. This makes some students graduate early or late before others. Some working students may opt for part-time degrees, extending their duration of study tremendously. As time is an important component, the graduation rate differs, taking into account the particular course duration as well. 

You may be an undergraduate looking to pursue a degree in a certain discipline, you may have all kinds of thoughts in your head, where to apply, what to do, you may also be worried about your graduation. Fret not! We have covered the average graduation rate along with other queries and information in the article below!

What Percentage of College Students in USA Graduate in 5 Years

Extensive research and surveys have found that over 64% of students enrolling in college at the age of 18 graduate within 5 years, this number may change according to the age of the student during the enrolment. The research has shown that 42% of students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree graduate within 4 years. Among all college students (including Master’s and Diploma programs) Bachelor’s students graduate at a rate of 61%, ranking as the highest in the bunch.

60% of students enrolling in the Bachelor’s program at the age of 19, graduate within 5 years. That percentage experienced a steep decline as individuals enrolling within the age groups of 20-23 also graduate in 5 years. Since 77% of the students enroll in college in their late teens, they graduate at an early age. There is a gradual decline in the enrolment of students above the age of 24, resulting in the graduation rate as well, which currently sits at 12.9%. 

Most Sought-After Degrees

There exist some jobs and degrees which weren’t the norm two decades ago. They have surprisingly become in-demand with the change in technology and advance of modern science. Below we have mentioned the most sought-after Degrees in the current decade.

Computer Science

A CS degree is of the most popular degrees, its popularity has plummeted since the last two decades with the boom of tech giants like Microsoft and Apple. With so many applications all around the world, there is immense competition to get into prestigious colleges. Computer Science essentially applies to every field, including Medicine. The current trend of majors in Computer Science is leaning more towards Data Learning and Management, this current trend has been named as the “Data Boom”. It is a prosperous and still a growing industry as people without a Master’s are successful in landing a job.

The annual median salary for a Computer Science (BSc. Computer Science, BSc. Hons Computer Science)  graduate is $65,000, which can be significantly more if you opt for a Master’s in a more specialized field.

Business Administration 

It has become simpler for people who wish to study online, to pursue a degree in Business Administration (BBA, BMS). The degree covers all aspects of business and it is very well rounded. A Business Administration degree graduates can enter the fields of management, advertising, marketing, analysts, and much more. You may also work while studying part-time as most colleges are flexible. The salary may vary, depending on your specialization. Individuals with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) are offered exceptionally more compared to degree graduates.

The annual median salary for a Business Administration graduate can range anywhere from $45,342 to $88,144. The figures may vary according to your specialization. 


With the increase in awareness of mental health, coupled with the pandemic and isolation, there is a demand for trained and experienced psychologists and therapists. The job of the therapist is to understand and help you deal with your emotions more effectively. The wave of focus has been shifted significantly towards Psychology with various research works conducted all around the country, in a process to destigmatize mental health. If therapy isn’t your center of focus then you may turn to other fields of psychology such as sports or biopsychology. You may also be given grants to conduct researches. This boom will see a 20% growth in Psychology graduates in this decade.

The annual median salary for a Psychology Graduate (BA, MA, Ph.D. in Psychology) may vary, graduates may be paid in the ranges of $25,433 to $36,369, but it is essential to obtain a Master’s to have a practicing license, which will also mean a boost in your salary, ranging anywhere from $50,325 to $89,372 on average. Individuals with doctorates can earn up to $158,887 annually.

Honorable Mentions

Above we had seen some of the most sought-after degrees, but there are various other fields that can reach the same heights in the upcoming years. Below we have mentioned a few promising honorable mentions.

  • Architecture
  • Pharmacology
  • Journalism
  • Visual Arts
  • Education (B.Ed)

Importance of a Degree

A degree essentially ensures your employer about your capability and devotion towards the work. This also displays critical skills needed in the workplace, such as critical analysis, management of time, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and much more. Though some professions may not require any formal degree, they may require a diploma or an associate degree. A degree opens many doors for you, along with increased pay, flexibility, quality of work, and potential career opportunities.


Over 60% of college students graduate in 5 years. This number is at an all-time high and is only expected to go up. With flexible degree options, students who may have a full-time job can also graduate. There are various options in various fields, the students may be confused, but we have also mentioned some degrees with potential. The degrees are essential as they are often mentioned as the stepping stone towards success. This may increase your prospects even if the mode of study is online. 

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) on Graduation in the USA

Since we can not cover everything in the article, this section tries to solve all your doubts and queries that you may have about Graduation in the United States.

Q. Can I pursue a double major in the United States? 

A. Yes, most universities allow their students to pursue a double major, from different colleges. But you will be listed as a part-time student in both colleges. It is highly difficult to balance both but at the same time, it is not impossible.

Q. Can I finish my degree early? 

A. If you opt for classes or courses with more credits then yes. Typically, all colleges have a 120 degree credit hours system, if you complete the credits early then you are liable to graduate.

Q. Will pursuing my degree online, hurt my prospects? 

A. If it is a recognized degree then you won’ have any issues finding jobs after your graduation.

Q. Is it possible to pursue both Bachelors’s and Masters’s Degree at the same time? 

A. Yes, it is called the Join-Degree program, in the fourth year of their studies, they start the graduate program, obtaining both degrees upon graduation. 

What Percentage of College Students in USA Graduate in 5 Years?

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