2023 High School Benchmarks Report: Immediate College-Going Rate Improves for the First Time Since Beginning of the Pandemic
The immediate college enrollment rates for high school 2022 graduates from approximately 8,500 public high schools nationwide in the fall of 2022 improved by 0.9 to 2.7 percentage points, depending on high school income and minority-level characteristics, as reported in the 2023 High School Benchmarks Report.
Graduates of high-poverty, low-income, and high-minority high schools showed signs of recovery from the pandemic, with students from high-poverty and low-income high schools experiencing the largest increase in immediate enrollment (+2.7 pp over the 2021 class). Graduates from high schools that were not as adversely impacted by the pandemic (i.e., low poverty, higher income, and low minority) exhibited more stable trends in immediate enrollment rates (-0.1 to +0.9 compared to the 2021 class). Despite these early signs of recovery, the overall enrollment rate is still below pre-pandemic levels.
“It is heartening to see that the high schools that were hardest hit during the first year of the pandemic have raised their graduates’ college-going rates for the 2022 cycle,” said Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, “I continue to worry about the class of 2020 grads, however, who had still not shown up on campuses two years later.”
The 2023 High School Benchmarks Report includes a special analysis of the enduring enrollment impact the pandemic has had on 2020 high school graduates. The research found that most students who did not immediately enroll in postsecondary education remained unenrolled as of fall 2022.
The 11th annual High School Benchmarks Report provides the most current data on high school graduates’ postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion outcomes. These data serve as the most relevant benchmarks for monitoring and evaluating progress in assisting students in making the transition from high school to college and earning a credential in a timely manner.
“It is heartening to see that the high schools that were hardest hit during the first year of the pandemic have raised their graduates’ college-going rates for the 2022 cycle. I continue to worry about the class of 2020 grads, however, who had still not shown up on campuses two years later.”
Executive Director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center