High School Graduation Rates

The 2014-15 school year is the last year for which we have data. The data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics, and is based on the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR). The ACGR was first collected for the 2010-11 school year. The ACGR is calculated by taking the “cohort” of first-time ninth graders in a particular school year and adjusting this number by adding any students who transfer into the cohort after ninth grade and subtracting any students who transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die. The ACGR is the percentage of students who graduate within four years. The data is calculated for each school, school district, and state.

  • America’s graduation rate was 83.2 percent.
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders had a graduation rate of 90.2 percent.
  • White students had a graduation rate of 87.6 percent.
  • Hispanic students graduated at a rate of 77.6 percent.
  • Black students had a graduation rate of 74.6 percent.
  • American Indian/Alaska Natives graduated at a 71.6 percent rate.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, the graduation gap between white and black students narrowed from 17 percentage points to 13 percentage points.
  • The gap between white and Hispanic students went from 13 percentage points to 10 percentage points.
  • The gap between white and American Indian/Alaska Native students narrowed from 19 percentage points to 16 percentage points.
  • In 2014-15, low-income students had a graduation rate of 76.1 percent.
  • English learners graduated at a 65.1 percent rate.
  • Students with disabilities had a graduation rate of 64.6 percent.

Below is the graduation rate for each state.

State Graduation Rate
Alabama 89.3
Alaska 75.6
Arizona 77.4
Arkansas 84.9
California 82.0
Colorado 77.3
Connecticut 87.2
Delaware 85.6
District of Columbia 68.5
Florida 77.9
Georgia 78.8
Hawaii 81.6
Idaho 78.9
Illinois 85.6
Indiana 87.1
Iowa 90.8
Kansas 85.7
Kentucky 88.0
Louisiana 77.5
Maine 87.5
Maryland 87.0
Massachusetts 87.3
Michigan 79.8
Minnesota 81.9
Mississippi 75.4
Missouri 87.8
Montana 86.0
Nebraska 88.9
Nevada 71.3
New Hampshire 88.1
New Jersey 89.7
New Mexico 68.6
New York 79.2
North Carolina 85.6
North Dakota 86.6
Ohio 80.7
Oklahoma 82.5
Oregon 73.8
Pennsylvania 84.8
Rhode Island 83.2
South Carolina 80.3
South Dakota 83.9
Tennessee 87.9
Texas 89.3
Utah 84.8
Vermont 87.7
Virginia 85.7
Washington 78.2
West Virginia 86.5
Wisconsin 88.4
Wyoming 79.3

As of this writing, the data submitted by Mississippi was under review.

Historically, the data submitted by Texas has been widely criticized. Texas’s critics assert the state’s real graduation rate is around 75 percent.

Alabama has admitted its graduation rate was inflated.

There may be other instances of states reporting false data. I haven’t checked each state’s numbers. If you know of any false information, please let me know.

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