It’s summer in Corvallis. The flowers are beautiful, once again the OSU baseball team is in the regionals of the College World Series, and on June 15th, OSU will hold its 150th commencement. Among the almost 7,000 graduates are 11 very talented Lake County kids.There have been a lot of talented OSU graduates from Lake County ever since the Daly Fund was established. If you look at them as a group there are important differences between them and other graduates.
Sydnee Bias, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Marina S. Brazeal, Bachelor of Arts, Digital Communications
Nathan C. Harlan, Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Mechanical Engineering
Jonquil C. Kasbohm, Bachelor of Science, Biology
Julia K. Lindquist, Bachelor of Science, Education, Bachelor of Science, Liberal Studies
Hannah M. O Leary, Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing
DeNae E. Simms, Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude, History
Danielle G. Thames, Bachelor of Science, Human Development and Family Sciences
Jessica L. Theall, Bachelor of Science, Cum Laude, Rangeland Sciences
Nicholas C. Warner, Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, Finance
The first difference is the amount of time it takes to complete a bachelors degree (time to graduation). An especially important indicator for higher education is the six-year graduation rate, yes six years. The six-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at U.S. public four-year degree granting institution in fall of 2012 was 60%. The six-year graduation rate at Oregon State University during the same time-period was 67% (for those of you who are wondering, the University of Oregon rate is similar), about 10% above the national average. In sharp contrast to both the national and OSU average, our survey of Daly Fund recipient’s six-year graduation rate during that same time-period was 94%. Even more surprisingly, 71.% of the survey respondents completed their degrees in four years, more than double the national and state average of about 30% (see note). To put it another way, a higher percentage of our survey respondents (Daly Scholarship students) completed their degrees in four years than the overall percentage of U.S. college students who completed in six years.
There are many benefits associated with timely completion of a college degree. Earlier completion reduces the cost of higher education to the student, the university, and the public, and also maximizes the returns. From a cost standpoint, completing a degree in six years rather than four will cost more than an additional 50% of the four-year cost when you consider the value of foregone income. From an educational standpoint, students who complete undergraduate degrees earlier are more likely to complete graduate and professional degrees.
While about 12% of the general U.S. population has a graduate degree more than three times as many (40%) of our survey respondents have either a master’s or advanced professional degree. The high percentage of advanced degrees is likely to have been influenced by early completion of their bachelor’s degrees and the fact that they graduated without debt, giving them both time and money to invest in further education. Of note is the finding that 12.7% of the survey respondents completed an advanced degree (PhD, MD, JD, etc.). The large number of Daly recipients who became medical doctors (as Cornelia Robertson, her sister Jocelyn, and their younger brother, Lewis did in the 1920s) seems to echo the career of Bernard Daly.
The bottom line is that Lake County college graduates are much more likely to graduate in four years, without debt, and go on to graduate and professional school — all because of a scholarship established almost a hundred years ago.
Congratulations to all 2019 graduates everywhere!
- Yes, the Daly Fund requires all scholarship recipients to take a full load each term, effectively requiring them to be eligible for graduation in four years. The four-year scholarship provides an incentive and, as our survey shows, incentives work.