Number of Louisiana Graduates Entering College Each Fall Has Increased By 15 Percent Between 2012 and 2017

For Release On:

May 15, 2018

BATON ROUGE -- The Louisiana Department of Education today announced a record 23,517 public high school graduates from the Class of 2017 enrolled in college in the fall after graduation, an increase of more than 500 since 2016 and an increase of about 3,000, or 15 percent, since 2012.

The results announced today follow the release of the statewide graduation results for the Class of 2017. Those results showed a jump in the overall graduation rate, as well as in the rate at which students earn early-college credit or state-approved industry-valued career credentials, the number of graduates qualifying for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students scholarship, and the number of seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

"College looks different for different people. College may mean learning to nurse, learning to weld, learning to code, or learning to read philosophy," said State Superintendent John White. "But in all cases, continued education matters. It is the best means the education system can offer high school graduates seeking to create a life full of opportunity."

Among the highlights of the college-bound graduates from the Class of 2017:

  • The increase in the numbers of historically disadvantaged graduates enrolling in college has outpaced overall gains. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of economically disadvantaged graduates enrolling in college increased by 4,678, or 56 percent, and the number of minority graduates enrolling in college increased by 1,493, or 16 percent. In the same time period, the number of economically disadvantaged high school students in public schools increased 28 percent and minority students increased 5 percent.
  • The proportion of graduates in two- vs. four-year colleges has remained steady. The percent of college-going graduates in four-year colleges increased slightly from 2016 to 2017, from 67 percent to 71 percent, while the percent of college-going graduates in two-year colleges decreased from 33 percent to 29 percent in that same time. Both percentages in 2017 are unchanged from the percentages in 2012. 
  • Five school systems represent nearly half of the increase in college enrollment over time. School systems in Calcasieu, Lafayette, Livingston, Orleans (OPSB+RSD-NO), and Bossier parishes represent 22 percent of Louisiana's high school graduates but 31 percent of the increase in college enrollment from 2012 to 2017.

To view school system and school-level data, click here.

The rise in the college-going rate can be attributed, in part, to initiatives implemented by the state to equip students to meet increasing college and workforce demands and to seek postsecondary education. Those efforts have included: 

  • Implementing higher academic standards, comparable with states across the country;
  • Providing access to the ACT to all 11th grade students, regardless of background or income, to ensure all students are on track to graduate with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and career;
  • Offering students the opportunity to earn college credit by taking rigorous coursework through Advanced Placement and dual enrollment;
  • Expanding and diversifying Jump Start, the state's career and technical education program, to provide career courses and workplace experiences to high school students;
  • Measuring how well schools equip students for postsecondary success through the state's accountability system; and
  • Requiring students to choose whether or not to complete financial aid forms to fund their postsecondary pursuits. 

Louisiana is also one of just four states in the nation that has aligned requirements to receive a high school diploma with admissions eligibility for the state public university system, according to a recent report by the Center for American Progress.

"We are delighted to acknowledge and celebrate the record number of Louisiana high school graduates who enrolled in college last fall," said Dr. Joseph C. Rallo, Senior Adviser for the Louisiana Board of Regents. "This outcome is a strong reminder that education beyond high school is an imperative in our emerging economy. Enrollment at one of our two- or four-year institutions is the first step toward attaining personal goals while also meeting broader economic and social outcomes essential to the long-term vitality of Louisiana."

Original Press Release https://www.louisianabeli eves.com/newsroom/news-release s/2018/05/15/number- of-louisiana-graduates-entering-college- each-fall-has-increased-by-15-percent-be tween-2012-and-2017

Republished by LOUISIANA NEWS | www.louisiana.gov