The national graduation rate for public high school students is on the rise, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. The graduation rate rose to 83.2 percent in 2014-15. This number comes from measuring the percentage of students who graduate with a regular high school diploma within four years of starting 9th grade.
Between 2010-11 and 2014-15, graduation rates increased for all reported groups of students: all racial and ethnic subgroups, low-income students, English learners and students with disabilities. Graduation rate gaps still exist among the racial and ethnic subgroups, though it appears some gaps are narrowing. The gap in graduation rates between White and Black students narrowed from 17 to 13 percentage points, and the gap between White and Hispanic students narrowed from 13 to 10 percentage points.
What does this mean for colleges?
Though the number of high-school aged students peaked a few years ago, the increase in graduation rates likely means the number of students eligible to continue to colleges post high school seems to have remained consistent, according to Kent Phillippe, associate vice president of research and student success at the American Association of Community Colleges.
Data from other sources suggest that the college continuation rate also is steady or slightly increasing. However, the students are opting to start at four-year colleges (compared to community colleges) at a higher rate than during the recession.
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