The averaged freshman graduation rate (AFGR) provides an estimate of the percentage of public high school students who graduate on time—that is, 4 years after starting 9th grade—with a regular diploma. The rate uses aggregate student enrollment data to estimate the size of an incoming freshman class and aggregate counts of the number of diplomas awarded 4 years later. The incoming freshman class size is estimated by summing the enrollment in 8th grade for 1 year, 9th grade for the next year, and 10th grade for the year after and then dividing by 3. The averaging is intended to account for higher grade retention rates in the 9th grade. Although not as accurate as an on-time graduation rate computed from a cohort of students using individual student record data, this estimate of an on-time graduation rate can be computed with currently available data. The AFGR was selected from a number of alternative estimates that can be calculated using cross-sectional data based on a technical review and analysis of a set of alternative estimates (Seastrom et al. 2006a, 2006b). AFGR estimates are based on the CCD “State Nonfiscal Survey of Public Elementary/Secondary Education,” with ungraded enrollments distributed proportional to reported enrollments by grade. Rates are presented for the 48 states that submitted data necessary to estimate AFGR for the 2005–06 school year; a national-level rate was calculated based on data from the reporting states. The District of Columbia did not meet reporting requirements, and Pennsylvania and South Carolina did not report high school graduation data.
19 Prorating was calculated by applying the 2004–05 AFGRs for the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina to the counts of incoming freshmen in these two states and the District of Columbia in 2002–03 (the expected graduating class of 2005–06).