About Full Sail’s Graduation Rates

[NOTE: This post was updated Aug. 2012 to reflect current IPEDS data. If you would like to compare this revised post to the original version, we have preserved a screenshot of the original post. You can download that screenshot here.]

If you are curious about how Full Sail’s graduation rates compare to the national average of all colleges and universities, Full Sail’s institutional graduation rate is 80% compared to an average of 48% for all U.S. higher education institutions. (Download an Excel file containing data for all U.S. higher education institutions.)

This graduation rate is calculated using a methodology mandated by the U.S. Department of Education under the Student Right to Know Act. Graduation rate information is publicly available via the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics website called IPEDS (http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/), which gathers educational data from schools across the country.

IPEDS provides an apples-to-apples comparison of graduation rates for all institutions, as it requires all schools to report their numbers according to Department of Education guidelines.


Our overall graduation rates listed above differ from the “on-time” graduation rates published elsewhere on our website and other reporting materials because “on-time” graduation rates are calculated and reported differently than overall graduation rates. The degrees that Full Sail offers proceed in a defined, month-to-month manner. Students take specific classes during each month of their degree track and, if, for whatever reason, a student needs to retake a course, then they have hopped off that degree track and are no longer considered “on-time” when they graduate.

At traditionally-paced institutions, if a student needs to retake a class, they can simply tack on extra credit hours in an upcoming semester and still graduate on time. At Full Sail, if your 20-month Film bachelor’s program takes you, say, 22 months, you are not considered to have graduated on time. (But you’ve still graduated in less than half of the time of an “on-time” bachelor’s student at a traditional university.)

To the average person, whether they graduate “on-time” or not isn’t as important as graduating, with respect to their lifestyle and schedule.