Boston College placed fourth in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private colleges and universities with the best six-year graduation rates for Pell Grant students.
The Chronicle’s annual assessment, released on September 16, compares the percentage of first-time, full-time, bachelor’s-seeking students who received a Pell Grant and enrolled in college in 2012 and completed their bachelor’s degree at the same institution within six years. The average Pell Grant student graduation rate among the 1,194 private colleges and universities was 54.6 percent.
Pell Grants are federal subsidies awarded to undergraduate students with the highest financial need. Created in 1972 and awarded annually by the U.S. Department of Education, Pell Grants can be applied towards any college costs, including tuition, fees, room and board, and other educational expenses.
Boston College’s graduation rate of 95.7 percent among 279 Pell students in its entering class in 2012 was exceeded only by Grinnell College (100 percent graduation rate among 104 students), Juniata College (96.9 percent graduation rate among 96 students), and Tuskegee University (96.3 percent graduation rate among 347 students).
Boston College outperformed Amherst College (95.7 percent among 111 students), Yale University (95.5 percent among 155 students), Tufts University (95.3 percent among 150 students), and Harvard University (95.2 percent among 273 students).
Vice Provost for Enrollment Management John Mahoney said that the report was an affirmation of Boston College’s success in enrolling and graduating Pell students.
“This report underscores Boston College's commitment to recruit and enroll talented students from low-income and first-generation college backgrounds,” said Mahoney. “But it is the mentoring and support provided by the Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center, Learning to Learn, and the Montserrat Coalition, as well as the commitment of BC faculty, which ensure that students graduate from Boston College well prepared to achieve success.”
Mahoney also noted that among the top 20 schools, Boston College enrolled the third-highest number of Pell students, trailing only Tuskegee University, a Historically Black College and University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
The following is a listing of the Chronicle of Higher Education’s top 20 private colleges and universities in Pell graduation rates:
4-year private nonprofit institutions
Washington U. in St Louis
U. of Chicago
Wesleyan U. (Conn.)
U. of Pennsylvania
The complete list of "Colleges With The Best 6-Year Graduation Rates for Pell Students” can be found here.
Jack Dunn | University Communications | September 2021