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Executive Summary  
Event and Status Dropout Rates  
Type of Dropout Rates        
Event Dropout Rates        
Status Dropout Rates        
High School Completion Rates  
High School Completion Rates        
Method of High School Completion        
Text Tables and Figures  
Full Report (PDF)  

Executive Summary
High School Completion Rates
The high school completion rate represents the proportion of 18- through 24-year-olds who have completed a high school diploma or an equivalent credential, including a General Educational Development (GED) credential.
  • In 1999, about 85.9 percent of all 18- through 24-year-olds not enrolled in high school had completed high school, a slight increase since the early 1970s (figure A and table A7).

  • High school completion rates have increased for white and black young adults since the early 1970s, with rates of 91.2 percent for whites and 83.5 percent for blacks in 1999. Analysis revealed no consistent upward trend during this period with rates variably increasing or decreasing depending on the time period under study (figure 3 and table A13). In addition, white and Asian/Pacific Islander young adults in 1999 were more likely than their black and Hispanic peers to complete high school.

Method of High School Completion
Most young adults earn a regular diploma and graduate from high school; others complete high school by an alternative route, such as passing the GED test.
  • Approximately 76.8 percent of the 18- through 24-year-olds who were not still enrolled in high school held regular diplomas, which represented the high school graduation rate (as opposed to the high school completion rate). An additional 9.2 percent had completed high school by taking a high school equivalency test such as the GED. This represents about 1.9 million young adults.

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