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High school graduation rates

Question:
What information do you have on public high school graduation rates?

Response:

This Fast Fact examines the percentage of public high school students who graduate on time, as measured by the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR). State education agencies calculate the ACGR by identifying the "cohort" of first-time 9th-graders in a particular school year. The cohort is then adjusted by adding any students who transfer into the cohort after 9th grade and subtracting any students who transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die. The ACGR is the percentage of students in this adjusted cohort who graduate within four years with a regular high school diploma.

The ACGR increased over the first 5 years in which it was collected, from 79 percent in 201011 to 83 percent in 201415. In other words, more than 4 out of 5 public school students received a regular high school diploma within 4 years of starting 9th grade. In 201415, the state-level ACGRs ranged from 69 percent in the District of Columbia and New Mexico to 90 percent in New Jersey and 91 percent in Iowa.1 Roughly two-thirds of states (34) reported graduation rates between 80 and 89 percent.2


Adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for public high school students, by state: 201415

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text. /

Reporting standards not met. The Alabama State Department of Education has indicated that their adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) data was misstated. For more information, please see the following press release issued by the state: https://www.alsde.edu/sec/comm/News%20Releases/12-08-2016%20Graduation%20Rate%20Review.pdf.

NOTE:The adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) is the percentage of public high school freshmen who graduate with a regular diploma within 4 years of starting 9th grade. The Bureau of Indian Education and Puerto Rico were not included in the United States 4-year ACGR estimate. The graduation rates displayed above have been rounded to whole numbers. Categorizations are based on unrounded percentages.


1 Alabama's data are not included in this indicator. The Alabama State Department of Education has indicated that their adjusted cohort graduation rate data was misstated. For more information, please see the following press release issued by the state: https://www.alsde.edu/sec/comm/News%20Releases/12-08-2016%20Graduation%20Rate%20Review.pdf.

2 Based on graduation rates that have been rounded to whole numbers.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). The Condition of Education 2017 (NCES 2017-144), Public High School Graduation Rates.

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