The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) has released new data that shows an increase in the college going and completion rates of students who graduate from Arizona public high schools, and launched a new, interactive tool that allows users to compare college success rates of high schools in the state.
The 2014-15 college going data shows an increase of 2,391 (2.6 percent) in the number of Arizona high school graduates who went on to study at a postsecondary institution. College completion data shows an increase of 557 in the number of students who graduated six years later from a two-year institution and 1,356 in the number of students who graduated six years later from a four-year institution.
According to the data, Arizona high school students achieved a four-year institution graduation rate of 20.8 percent (up from 19.4 percent), a combined (two- and four-year institution) graduation rate of 27.9 percent (up from 25.8 percent), and overall college going rate of 53.1 percent (up from 50.5 percent).
The new data is reflective of the success Arizona schools have achieved in helping students access and prepare for a college education. The data also points to major inconsistencies in high school performance in college going rates.
Half of the students enrolled in postsecondary education came from 11 percent of Arizona’s public high schools, though this does represent a slight increase over last year at 10.6 percent. Conversely, nearly 7 percent, or 33 high schools, sent no students to college anywhere.
“We wanted to provide this data to Arizona students and their families so they can begin to think strategically about postsecondary success, beginning with where they choose to attend high school,” said Eileen Klein, president of the board of regents. “This information also is crucial for education leaders in our state, as we think about policies to ensure all of our public high schools are performing equally and exceptionally, so that students get prepared for success no matter the path they choose. In general, these are very encouraging results that point to a collective effort throughout the P-20 continuum in ensuring our students’ success.”
In addition to releasing the new numbers, the board of regents has launched an easy-to-use, interactive tool that enables students and families in Arizona to see clearly how a high school’s college going and completion rates compare with other high schools in the state. (A Google Fusion map of Arizona high schools is also available.)
The new data tool, part of the board’s emphasis on transparency and outcomes, puts students and families at the center of the decision-making process so they can make better decisions about where to invest their time and resources.