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lllinois first in bachelor’s degree completion rates for community college students, state reports

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Sep 14, 2018

Illinois now leads the nation in bachelor’s degree completion rates among community college students, said a recently released report from the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

In the latest cohort (students who entered a community college in 2010, tracked over six years), 53.8 percent of new Illinois community college students in 2010 (both full- and part-time) who transferred to a four-year college completed a bachelor’s degree within six years. The figure is 11.6 percent above the national average of 42.2 percent, the report said.

The College of LakeInfographic on four-year completion rates of Illinois community college students County contributes to the Illinois ranking by fostering an environment that gives students the ability to seamlessly transfer to a four-year college. With a Guaranteed Transfer Admission program featuring 27 partner four-year colleges and universities, CLC students know they are admitted to their transfer school as early as the first semester at CLC. What’s more, starting at CLC allows students to save thousands in tuition costs and benefit from personalized academic planning from both institutions. For details on the Guaranteed Transfer Admission program, visit

Infographic: Percentage of community college students who started in 2010 and completed a bachelor's degree within six years, based on a report by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Furthermore, CLC works with local high schools and students to offer dual credit and dual enrollment opportunities that enable students to earn transferable college credit while enrolled as a high school student. For more information on the program, visit

“This report proves that Illinois is a great state for both successful transfers and degree completion,” said Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Dr. Al Bowman. “The numbers would be higher across the board and especially in Illinois if the data included dual-credit earners, because Illinois is a leader in dual credit use.”

Illinois’ 11.6 percentage point advantage over the national average in bachelor’s degree completion points to the Illinois Articulation Initiative, which is the state’s strong, coordinated system of transfer. Bowman said, “It is no accident that Illinois is ranked so highly on transfers. Institutions of high learning across the state and the regulatory agencies, like IBHE, work hard to make sure transfers are smooth.” 

The details are included in the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s report, titled “Tracking Transfer: Measures of Effectiveness in Helping Community College Students to Complete Bachelor’s Degrees.” The full report is available at

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes, provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.