Student outcomes are measures of progress important to Lawrence, students, families, accreditors, and the federal government. In this section, we shine a light on current students, graduates and alum outcomes as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA).

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education, is the primary federal entity responsible for collecting and analyzing data related to postsecondary education in the United States. Each year, NCES collects a broad range of information from post-secondary institutions through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a system of interrelated surveys. Data are collected in the following areas:

  • Institutional characteristics,
  • Institutional prices,
  • Admissions,
  • Enrollment,
  • Student financial aid,
  • Degrees and certificates conferred,
  • Student persistence and success (retention rates, graduation rates, and outcome measures),
  • Institutional human resources,
  • Fiscal resources, and
  • Academic libraries.

Much of this information is then sorted, organized, and presented to the public on the College Navigator website and the College Scorecard, which are managed by NCES. 

College Navigator is a free consumer information tool intended to assist students, parents, high school counselors, and others obtain information about nearly 7,000 postsecondary institutions in the United States and other areas.

The College Scorecard offers over 1,700 data points for 7,000+ higher education institutions, based on IPEDS, NSLDS, and tax records. It provides nationally comparable data on financial aid, debt, retention, graduation rates, post-college earnings, costs, student body, SAT/ACT scores, and academic programs.

Retention Rates

One-year retention rates are reported on the IPEDS Fall Enrollment Survey and reflect the rate of first-time students who returned for a second fall term. Adjusted cohorts are used for calculating retention rates. Cohorts are adjusted for allowable exclusions that include students who left the institution for one of the following reasons: death or total and permanent disability; service in the armed forces (including those called to active duty); service with a foreign aid service of the federal government, such as the Peace Corps; or service on official church missions. 

One-Year Retention Rates

One-Year Retention Rates for Bachelor's Fall Cohort (2021)
Fall Cohort (First-Time) Full-time Part-time
2021 88% 50%

Source: IPEDS 

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates for a cohort of first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students are disclosed on the IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey in compliance with the Student Right-to-Know Act. A student is counted as completed or graduated if they earn a degree or certificate within 150 percent of the normal time for the student's program. For Lawrence, this means the percentage of entering students who complete their degree within six years. Institutions are allowed to exclude from graduation rate calculations those students who left the institution for one of the following reasons: death or total and permanent disability; service in the armed forces (including those called to active duty); service with a foreign aid service of the federal government, such as the Peace Corps; or service on official church missions. All graduation rate figures reflect an adjusted cohort after allowable exclusions. 

Graduation rates disaggregated by sex, race/ethnicity, and financial aid status are publicly disclosed in compliance with the HEOA. Race/ethnicity for some students changed between entering and leaving Lawrence.

Graduation Rates of First-time, Full-time Students

Source: IPEDS
2016 Cohort Datapoint
Six-Year Graduation Rate 2016
Overall Adjusted Cohort 78%
Female 83%
Male 74%
U.S. Nonresident 86%
Unknown n/a
Hispanic/Latino 74%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 81%
Black or African American 71%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 100%
White 78%
Two or More Races 78%
Financial aid received in entry year:
Federal Pell Grant 66%
Subsidized Stafford Loan, No Pell Grant 77%
Neither Pell Grant nor Stafford Loan 84%

First Destination Outcomes

The Lawrence Career Center conducts an annual survey of the graduating class for six months after graduation to assess the educational, professional, and personal outcomes of a Lawrence education. The Career Center first surveyed graduating members of the Class of 2021 in June 2021. The Career Center utilized Handshake’s First Destination Survey functionality which automates reminder emails to graduates to complete the survey. Graduates received monthly reminders from July 2021 – November 2021. The Center continued to survey graduates, as well as follow-up via email and social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Follow-up data collection focused on job title, organization, city, and state. This six-month data collection is an annual process, conducted each June-December with results reported the following spring. Of the 274 members of the Class of 2021, the Career Center collected outcomes data for 230 graduates, comprising a knowledge rate of 84 percent. Knowledge rate is the percent of graduating seniors for whom we have knowledge of their post-graduation plans.

The First Destination Outcomes summary below details the Class of 2021 graduates' employment, education, internships, military service, volunteering, travel, or job-seeking status. 

Pie-chart depicting the first destination for 2021 LU Graduates within 6 months of graduation, where 72% are employed, 25% continue education, 1% apply to Grad School, 1% are job seekers, and 1% are LU Fellows
2021 Lawrence Graduates - First Destination Outcomes

Employment Outcomes

Visit the Life After Lawrence page to see a sample of organizations who hired Lawrence graduates within the past five years.

Teacher Certification

Teacher certification is available to Lawrence students, alumni, and graduates from other colleges and universities.

EPP Annual Report

Lawrence is included in the Wisconsin Department of Instruction's annual report on educator preparation programs. As a selective liberal arts college, Lawrence attracts students from across the country and around the world. Many of our graduates apply for a Wisconsin license and then seek a teaching license in their home state or employment overseas, where they are often among the top-ranked teachers in their schools.

Title II Report

Lawrence meets the reporting requirements of Section 207 of Title II of the Higher Education Act. Our pass rate is 100%. Copies of the most recent report are available from the Education Department chair. Please contact the Education Department at (920) 832-6714.

Graduate and Professional School Outcomes

Fellowships & Scholarships

This is only a sample of prestigious fellowships and scholarships awarded to Lawrentians!

  • The Fulbright Program grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. The Fulbright Student Program Grantee Directory lists all of the students from Lawrence that received the prestigious Fulbright scholarships. Search "Lawrence" in the directory to see all of the recipients since 1950. Lawrence was on the prestigious 2018-19 Fulbright U.S. Student Top Producer List
  • The Watson Fellowship is a one-year grant for purposeful, independent exploration outside the United States, awarded to graduating seniors nominated by one of 40 partner colleges. Since 1969, there have been 78 Watson Fellows from Lawrence. The Lawrence Watson Gallery lists recipients. 
  • The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment. Six Lawrence students were awarded a scholarship since 1999 including Jacob Brenner (1999), Gustavo Setrini (2001), Stephen Rogness (2003), Hava Blair (2012), Chelsea Johnson (2013), and Zechariah Meunier (2014). 
  • The Critical Language Scholarship Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Eight Lawrence students were recipients since 2010 including Megan Brown (2010), Meghan Hickey (2011), Meghan Murphy (2016), Nina Wilson (2017), Mikeala Marget, Jonathan Rubin, and Heidi Arnold (2018), and Margaret Wulfsberg (2019).
  • The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to college students seeking to pursue a career as a public service leader. Catherine Dodds Dunham was awarded this prestigious scholarship in 1997.
  • The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. The post-graduate award provides full financial support for students to study at the University of Oxford. Seven Lawrence students received Rhodes Scholarships including Athol Rollins (1905), Earnest Hooten (1910), Keville Larson (1922), Elmer Pfefferkorn (1954), Michael Hammond (1956), James Merrell (1975), and Peter Ruprecht (1992). 
  • The Barry Goldwater Scholarship & Excellence in Education Foundation honors Senator Barry Goldwater and it was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue research careers in the fields of the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields. Seven Lawrence students have been named Goldwater Scholars including Christopher Dietrich (1992), Charles Holst (1995), Joanna Boerner (1999), Angela Kopp & Cindy Regal (2000), Willa Dworschack (2019), and Travis Dillon (2020).

Earned Doctorates

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF), along with several other federal agencies, sponsors a project called the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED). The survey is conducted annually to collect information about people earning doctorates at universities in the United States. Professional degrees (J.D., M.D., D.D.S., O.D., D.V.M., etc.) are not covered by this survey.
  • According to the 2022 NSF Report on Baccalaureate Origins of U.S. Research Doctorate Recipients, LU ranked 24th in the nation among liberal arts institutions for the percent of alumni who go on to earn a PhD in science and engineering and 49th among all U.S. universities and colleges.
  • Lawrence in the News: Success in STEM

"The 2014 Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) report Strengthening the STEM Pipeline: The Contributions of Small and Mid-Sized Independent Colleges demonstrated the critical role this sector of higher education institutions plays in preparing its students for success in obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields."

Lawrence ranked as follows:

  • 17th in the nation for U.S. baccalaureate-origin institutions of 2007-2016 STEM doctorate recipients by institutional-yield ratio, 13th among liberal arts institutions, and 4th among our peer schools (Table A5 on page A31). It is worth noting that our overall 17th ranking places us ahead of Princeton (ranked 18th) and just behind Harvard (ranked 16th) and Yale (ranked 14th).
  • 29th in the nation for U.S. baccalaureate-origin institutions of 2007-2016 women STEM doctorate recipients by institutional-yield ratio, 25th among liberal arts institutions, and 6th among our peer schools (Table A6 on page A33). 

Graduate and Professional Education

According to information collected for the class of 2021, 25% of surveyed graduates pursued further graduate or professional school study within six months of graduation and 1% were applying to do so. Visit the Life After Lawrence page to see a sample of schools attended by recent graduates.


Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards

Lawrence jazz students have won numerous Downbeat Magazine "Student Music" Awards in the instrumental soloist, original composition, arranging and recording categories. Read more about Lawrence's Downbeat award recipients here and/or watch videos of the winners.  

Alumni Profiles

Visit the Notable Alumni page to view Lawrence alumni profiles.