In recent years, there’s been a focus among states to establish standards that prepare students for college and careers. All too often, however, the discussion surrounding these standards largely focuses on college, and even more narrowly, four-year institutions. As a result, many have called for resources to be redirected to those high school students who have no intention of continuing their studies at college, let alone a four-year university. Thus, the thinking goes, high schools that are single-minded in preparing students for college, potentially alienate a swath of students who have no desire for post-secondary education in their future.
But is such conventional wisdom accurate? Is college a distant thought for many high school graduates? Is a high school diploma the last educational milestone for a large number of graduating seniors?
A Startling Discovery
In this analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Education Longitudinal Study (ELS, 2002), The Center for Public Education found that only one in five students drawn from this nationally representative sample of 15,000 did not enroll in college immediately upon graduating from high school.
Put another way, eight of out of every 10 students in the Class of 2004 made a beeline for college after receiving their diploma--- a rate that rose as more time, and perhaps job opportunities, passed.
Eight years after graduating from high school, a mere 12 percent of the graduates from the Class of 2004 had not gone on to either a two- or four-year college.
More info about non-college enrollees:
|A Deeper Look|
Non-College Goers Tended to be Male
About Half (46%) Have Parents Whose Highest Level of Education Was a High School Diploma
They Took Fewer Academic Courses While in High School Than Their College-Going Peers
They Spent Less Time on Homework Than Their College-Going Peers