Half of people who went to college during the recession haven't graduated

Six years later, we are starting to get the first clear look at how all those students fared, and the numbers aren’t pretty. According to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, barely half — 52.9 percent — of students who enrolled in fall 2009 had earned a bachelor’s or associate degree six years later. That’s down from a completion rate of 56.1 percent for the students who enrolled in 2007. (Graduation rates were especially low for students at for-profit colleges.)

The decline was bigger for some groups than for others. Among traditional students — full-time students who were 20 years old or younger when they enrolled — the six-year graduation rate was 68.3 percent, down only a bit from 2007. But graduation rates were much lower, and fell much more sharply, for older and part-time students, the same groups that saw big enrollment increases during the recession. Among part-time students who were in their early 20s when they enrolled, just 9.1 percent had degrees six years later…