Strengthening the STEM Pipeline: The Contributions of Small and Mid-Sized Independent Colleges
demonstrates that small and mid-sized independent institutions are preparing students for careers and graduate study in STEM fields more efficiently than many public universities.
Contrary to popular assumptions, the report shows that smaller private colleges have higher student persistence and degree completion rates in STEM fields and shorter time to the bachelor’s degree than larger universities. Bachelor’s degree recipients from small and mid-sized independent institutions in the STEM fields also are more often committed to further education at the time of graduation, and many of them immediately enroll in graduate programs after obtaining bachelor’s degrees. And graduates of private colleges are more likely to pursue doctoral degrees in STEM fields than graduates of public four-year institutions. In some of the STEM fields, small and mid-sized independent colleges produce more graduates who obtain PhDs than much larger research universities.