As useful as it is for comparing institutions with similar missions, the federal graduation rate statistic does have its weaknesses, as it tracks only full-time first-time, first-year students. The percentage of these students among of a campus's new enrollees each fall strongly correlates with the graduation rate, thus predicting a lower rate for colleges that accept a large number of transfers.
A recent Government Accountability Office study demonstrates what colleges and universities have known for a long time: Government agencies do not understand the burden imposed by increasing demands for data, such as here for the IPEDS surveys from the U.S. Department of Education. The full GAO report is available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10871.pdf.
In gaining larger numbers of external research dollars, as well as bachelor's degrees, the state's dollars go farther when supporting activities at Ohio's independent colleges.