If you attend Western, chances are you'll make it to the finish line.
According to Macleans, Western University's graduation rate is 86.6 per cent, ranking it second among other Canadian universities.
Macleans tracked the percentage of full-time, first-year undergraduate students in Canada in fall 2007 to determine whether they graduated by 2014, a seven-year time span.
Queen’s University ranked first, followed by Western and then McGill University.
John Doerksen, vice-provost of academic programs, said there are multiple factors that contribute to Western’s high graduate rates, with both academic preparation and student motivation being key.
“Probably the strongest predictor of graduation rates is grade 12 averages, and we have among the highest incoming averages of any university in Canada, usually second or third, so I think that’s a part of it.”
Doerksen notes Western’s incoming average in fall 2016 was between 89 to 90 per cent.
He said on-campus academic support is also crucial.
“There is a range of supports, certainly within the academic departments themselves," said Doerksen. "The university also provides a lot of support, like Learning Skills Services and the Writing Support Centre. These are the kind of services where students can go, even as high achieving students, to hone [their] skills even more and get good advice.”
Doerksen said there are two main reasons undergraduates don't make it until graduation.
One is academic fit: students who are struggling academically or students who are looking for a program at another school or university. The other deals with a lack of connection to the community.
Doerksen said that graduation rates are expected to continue to increase. He notes that Western’s incoming average has gone up year to year.
“Coming back to this notion that incoming averages is a strong predictor of graduation success, ... I think we’ll continue to see some increase in those graduation rates; we’ve seen this over the last decade. I’m quite sure we will see that continue in the years to come,” he said.