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Nearly 1 in 5 Graduates from High-Poverty High Schools Graduate from College within Six Years

by | Oct 27, 2017 | High School Benchmarking, Research Reports, StudentTracker for High Schools |

Georgia’s Norcross High School Class of 2010 Students Beat the Odds

Nearly one in five graduates from high-poverty, high schools graduated college within six years of finishing high school, and one in four students from low-income schools did so, according to the High School Benchmarks 2017: National College Progression Rates, released on Tuesday, October 24. In addition, the report shows little to no progress from the previous years’ results, and compares to more than half of graduates from low-poverty schools.

The report defines high-poverty schools as having at least 75 percent of students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch and low-income schools having at least 50 percent of students eligible.

College Completion Rates Six Years after High School Graduation, Class of 2010, Public Non-Charter Schools

“These numbers give schools and districts the tools they need to understand challenges and help identify strategies that work in preparing their students for success in college,” said Dr. Doug Shapiro, Executive Research Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “The High School Benchmarks’ report shows how important it is for high schools to break out their StudentTracker data that we provide them, find similar schools and districts, know what others do well and replicate best practices.”

One school greatly benefiting from the Benchmarks’ report and their StudentTracker for High Schools report is Norcross High School in Norcross, Georgia. StudentTracker, from the Clearinghouse, enables high schools to accurately gauge the postsecondary success of their graduates nationwide. The public school, located near Atlanta, has an enrollment of more than 3,700 students, in which 83 percent are minorities and approximately two-thirds come from low-income families.

For the Norcross class of 2010, Clearinghouse data showed that 45 percent of graduates completed a college degree within six years after their high school graduation. As a comparison, Norcross rates:

  • 21 points above the national average for all low-income, high minority schools listed in the Benchmarks’ report;
  • 8 points above the national average for higher-income, high minority schools; and
  • Only 5 points below the national average for higher-income, low minority schools

“The High School Benchmarks’ report and the StudentTracker report provide important feedback on our graduates’ performance in college,” said Will Bishop, Principal, Norcross High School. “We believe our students must graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete their program of study at their college of choice. The data we receive from the National Student Clearinghouse plays a key role in helping us monitor our students after they leave our campus and further their education. It is also important to note however, that while we are encouraged by the results of the StudentTracker report, we are not satisfied because we understand there is a lot more work to be done.”

The High School Benchmarks 2017: National College Progression Rates covers public and private high schools from all 50 states and 71 of the 100 largest districts in the United States, including about 40 percent of all public high school graduates. The report presents a range of postsecondary outcomes for five high school graduating classes. This includes immediate college enrollment rates, persistence rates and six-year college completion rates, as well as enrollments and completions in various majors, including STEM and others. The report gives schools and districts the ability to compare their graduates’ results to national trends, for enrollment and progress in two-year, four-year, public, private, and out-of-state colleges and universities

The High School Benchmarks’ report and the StudentTracker report provide important feedback on our graduates’ performance in college.

Will Bishop
Principal, Norcross High School

The High School Benchmarks 2017 report data are drawn from the Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker® for High Schools service, and are presented for students from different types of high schools, such as low- versus higher-income, and low versus high minority. This enables more focused discussions, particularly about low-income and minority students traditionally not well served by higher education.

See our blog to learn how the High School Benchmarks’ report charts a course to student success in college. Follow the conversation using #HSBenchmarks on Twitter and Facebook.

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