Among students who were sophomores in high school in 2002, a majority (88 percent) had received a high school diploma by 2006 (2 years after their expected high school graduation). Smaller percentages had received a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or other equivalency (4 percent) or were still pursuing high school completion (3 percent); 5 percent had no diploma or equivalent certificate and were not pursuing high school completion.
Among the students in this cohort, the percentages who had received a high school diploma by 2006 varied by various student characteristics. In general, greater percentages of students who were White or Asian/Pacific Islander had received a high school diploma than those who were Black, Hispanic, or of two or more races. In addition, greater percentages of students from families with higher incomes and students who had higher 10th-grade educational expectations had received a high school diploma by 2006 than their counterparts had. For example, greater percentages of students who as sophomores had expected to complete a bachelor's or higher degree (92 to 95 percent) had received a high school diploma by 2006 than their peers who had lower educational expectations (63 to 79 percent).
There were also differences in the percentages of students in this cohort that had received a high school diploma by 2006 by the highest level of mathematics course taken during high school. Almost 100 percent of students who had taken calculus and 99 percent who had taken trigonometry, statistics, or precalculus had earned a high school diploma by 2006, compared with 86 percent who had taken algebra I, geometry, or algebra II; 61 percent who had taken basic math or pre-algebra; and 52 percent who had not taken any high school math.