Preparation for College:
Public High School Graduation Rates

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For the Year

Rate of Students Graduating from Public High School

Why is this important?

High school graduation (or equivalency) is a minimum and necessary step in the transition to college. This metric measures the percentage of 9th graders who graduate four years later - from public high schools (private HS graduation rates are not available). While the metric fails to account for students who move out-of- state, transfer to private high schools, or earn GEDs within the given timeframe, it is the best measure available for all fifty states.

What are the policy implications?

In many states across the US, higher education leaders are working with K-12 leaders to bridge the gap between high school and postsecondary education. This has evolved primarily from the reality that, today, some form of postsecondary education is imperative for the jobs and wages associated with even a lower-middle class lifestyle. There are many factors that can help students become better prepared for postsecondary education, but first and foremost they need to complete high school.

Other factors to consider:

9th Graders Chance for College by Age 19

It would also be useful to look at many of the indicators associated with the transition from high school to college behind the College Access link to the left. As with many of the measures on this website, it would be useful to look inside your state to determine which areas and schools exhibit poor performance. Even if the overall state average is relatively high, there are most likely areas and schools within the state that are falling behind.

Data sources and related links:

Tom Mortenson: Postsecondary Opportunity http://ww

Measuring Up: The State-by-State Report Card