Four-year, liberal arts colleges dot the landscape of the U.S., like gems twinkling to be found. Many are small. Each offers a unique character and experience, and many of us have been lucky to find the unique experience that suited our individual needs. Trying to understand one of these colleges by looking at millions of data points on a spreadsheet is like trying to understand the universe by staring at the night sky with a naked eye. But everyone likes to keep score, at least now and then.
The four-year completion rate may have older alumni scratching their heads. It’s not normal to attain a baccalaureate degree in four years anymore. In fact, only four out of ten college students do. Add to that the fact that some students will transfer to other colleges and not count in this rate, and it becomes more clear why the average here is only three out of ten.
These quick stats offer answers to four popular questions. St. Andrews accepts a smaller proportion of students compared to other colleges. St. Andrews commands a tuition higher than most Southeastern colleges of its type. Nevertheless, St. Andrews students seem to use federal loan money less often. Finally, compared to other Southeastern, baccalaureate colleges offering a variety of majors, St. Andrews students prove more likely to graduate in four years. This Department of Education metric refers specifically to full-time students who start and finish at the same college in four years.
The U.S. Department of Education places St. Andrews in the region labeled “Southeast.” That includes AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, and WV. Using the Carnegie Classification system, the Department of Education groups St. Andrews in “Baccalaureate Colleges: Diverse Fields.” That’s Carnegie Basic – Label 22 for those of you following along in the raw data. This group excludes other types of colleges such as associate’s colleges, career certificate colleges, art schools, etc. Therefore, the comparison group used above is all the other baccalaureate colleges, with a variety of majors, in the Southeast.