Student Success (3.0)

Credit Language

PA 10: Student Success – version 3.0


  • 10.1. Completion rate for low-income students 
  • 10.2. Completion rate for students with marginalized gender identities 
  • 10.3. Percentage of marginalized racial, ethnic, and/or Indigenous groups with equitable completion rates

Questions & Answers

How has this credit changed between STARS Version 2 and Version 3?

This is a new credit that requires quantitative data on student completion rates, by gender and race/ethnicity/Indigeneity. A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

How do we identify low-income students under Indicator 10.1?  

Low-income students may be identified by their receipt of or qualification for need-based assistance, a family income threshold (e.g., a local, national, or international poverty line), geographic origin (e.g., economically divested communities), or as otherwise tracked by the institution. Further guidance is available in the STARS Help Center.

How do we define and measure student completion rates under Indicators 10.1 and 10.2? 

An institution’s completion rate refers to the graduation or success rate for students. Any definition may be used, as long as it is used consistently, for example, the percentage of students who complete their program or transfer to another higher education institution within 150 percent of the published or expected time for the program.

How do we define and measure Percentage of marginalized racial, ethnic, and/or Indigenous groups with equitable completion rates (Indicator 10.3)?

Report on the same time period and student body used for the overall student completion rate and the same marginalized racial, ethnic, and/or Indigenous groups reported in the Racial and Ethnic Diversity credit.

If the Racial and Ethnic Diversity credit is not being pursued, the following guidance applies: The institution’s analysis must be based on the prevailing social characteristic(s) by which one or more dominant groups are distinguished from marginalized racial, ethnic, and/or Indigenous groups in the institution’s national context and for which data are available. This should include, at minimum, existing regional or national census categories. An institution that has taken a more refined approach to defining marginalized groups (e.g., by recognizing more specific identities) is encouraged to include those figures to the extent the data allow. Groups that comprise less than 1 percent of the student population may be excluded.

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Work with your Institutional Research and/or Financial Aid office(s) or similar to collect the information requested under this credit.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • Numeric/score outlier – Earning full points under any indicator. If a high score/percentage is reported, please review the documentation provided to ensure that information on completion rates for each group was assessed in accordance with the criteria. 

Did you find this article helpful?