Beebe: Colleges Hoped Graduate-Rate Funding Plan "Would Go Away"

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe is renewing his call to base college and university funding on student retention and graduation rates.  The governor met with higher education leaders today.  Beebe says many Arkansas schools remain skeptical of the idea.

A similar measure failed in the Legislature the last session.  Currently, the state appropriates money based on what courses the institutions offer and whether the schools conduct research.

The funding change comes as Arkansas tries to encourage more residents to graduate from four-year universities and colleges.  In the 2000 U.S. Census, Arkansas ranked 49th in the country of adults 25 or older who have bachelor's or more advanced college degrees, 16.7 percent.

Beebe said he met with college and university heads about three weeks ago to bring the idea up again.

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