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Leveraging the High School Benchmarks Report: A Guide for High School Administrators & Counselors

by NSC Blog | Nov 1, 2023 | High School Benchmarking, K-12, StudentTracker for High Schools

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s annual High School Benchmarks report provides the most current data on high school graduates’ postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion outcomes. Here are four ways high school administrators can leverage the report to make data-driven decisions, improve outcomes, and support their students’ educational journeys.

1. Tracking College Enrollment Rates

One of the primary uses of the High School Benchmarks report is to track college enrollment rates among high school graduates. Administrators can analyze this data to understand how their high schools’ graduates compare to averages for college enrollment. For example, the 2023 report shows that 70.9% of students from high schools with low poverty levels immediately enrolled in college after high school versus 49.9% of students from high schools with high poverty levels. This information can help schools benchmark their performance, enabling them to tailor their curriculum and support services.

2. Identifying Enrollment Patterns

Through an interactive dashboard, the report breaks down college enrollment data by various factors, such as the type of institution (2-year vs. 4-year, public vs. private), the location of the college (in-state vs. out-of-state), and enrollment timing (immediate or delayed entry), and high school characteristics (including poverty levels, income levels, minority levels, and urbanicity). High school administrators can use these insights to help them develop and provide targeted guidance.

3. Evaluating Persistence and Completion Rates

Beyond initial enrollment, the report provides college persistence and completion rates data. This information allows administrators to gauge how well their students are faring in higher education compared to trends and whether there are specific areas where additional support or interventions may be needed. Understanding which students are more likely to persist and graduate can inform counseling and academic advising efforts.

4. Tailoring Support Services

High schools can use the report to fine-tune their support services. By identifying trends related to college readiness, academic preparedness, and enrollment barriers, administrators can develop targeted interventions and support systems to address these issues proactively. This can include providing additional college readiness courses, financial aid workshops, or mentorship programs.

By leveraging this report’s data and insights, coupled with the reporting capabilities of StudentTracker for High Schools, administrators can make informed choices that lead to better opportunities and brighter futures for their students. Embracing data-driven decision-making is crucial in ensuring that high schools continue to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of education.

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