25 Private Colleges With the Best Graduation Rates

Last Updated Feb 8, 2011 10:59 AM EST

This post is part of a series on college graduation rates. Here are the other two posts: Top 25 State Williams College with American FlagUniversity for Graduating on Time and 25 State Universities With the Worst Graduation Rates.
When calculating college costs most families assume that their children will graduate in four years, but that usually doesn't happen.

Your chances of graduating from college increases, however, if you attend a private college. While 27% of full-time freshmen graduate in four years at state schools, the percentage of students graduating in four years rises to 48% for students attending private colleges and universities.

Where Students Graduate On Time

The schools that enjoy that nation's highest graduation rates are among the country's most elite private universities and liberal arts colleges.

The students who attend these schools are high achievers and the institutions are among the wealthiest, which permits them to offer an abundance of resources to their students. Using the federal education database (IPEDS), I created this list of private colleges and universities that enjoy the best four-year grad rates.

25 Private Colleges With the Best Graduation Rates

  1. Williams College (MA) 93%
  2. Princeton University (NJ) 90%
  3. Yale University (CT) 90%
  4. University of Notre Dame (IN) 90%
  5. Bowdoin College (ME) 89%
  6. Pomona College (CA) 89%
  7. Davidson College (NC) 89%
  8. Duke University (NC) 89%
  9. Babson College (MA) 89%
  10. Carleton College (MN) 89%
  11. Boston College (MA) 88%
  12. Harvard University 88%
  13. Vassar College (NY) 88%
  14. Wesleyan University (CT) 88%
  15. Georgetown University 88%
  16. Bucknell University (PA) 88%
  17. Haverford College (PA) 88%
  18. University of Pennsylvania 88%
  19. Washington and Lee U. (VA) 88%
  20. Northwestern University (IL) 87%
  21. College of the Holy Cross (MA) 87%
  22. University of Chicago (IL) 86%
  23. Bates College (ME) 86%
  24. Claremont McKenna College (CA) 86%
  25. Lafayette College (PA) 86%
Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.
Williams College image by Ethan.K. CC 2.0.

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