College attendance rate for Indiana high school students remains stagnant, new data shows –

New data released by the Indiana Higher Education Commission for the class of 2022 shows that only 53% of Hoosier graduates continued their education after graduating high school. Photo by Getty Images.

By Casey Smith
Indiana Capital Chronicle

INDIANA – The rate of Indiana high school seniors going directly to college remains stagnant, according to the latest data released by state officials.

New numbers for the class of 2022 announced Thursday by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education indicated, for the third year in a row, that only 53% of Hoosier graduates continued their education with certified training, a two-year program or enrollment in a four-year program. -year of university.

That’s a 6% drop from the class of 2019 and down 12% from 2015.

Still, as the data further shows that the total number of high school graduates in 2022 increased by 3%, that translates to fewer students enrolled in postsecondary education directly after high school.

“While the college attendance rate remained stable at 53%, we actually lost a number of first-time enrollees from our workforce perspective,” said Brooke Kile, associate commissioner for business intelligence.

CHE staff presented preliminary data during the commission’s bimonthly meeting Thursday. Official figures for 2022 are expected to be published next week.

The rate, called “dismal” by numerous state lawmakers and education officials, continues the lowest college attendance trend in recent state history. However, the decline began several years earlier.

More students leave the state

CHE defines the college attendance rate as the percentage of students who enroll in a postsecondary institution within one year of graduating from high school.

According to 2022 data, 47% of students who completed Career and Technical Education training while in high school continued with additional postsecondary courses.

But among those CTE students, Kile noted that Indiana continues to have access gaps between different demographic groups.

About 70% of Asian students and 48% of white students who took CTE classes went on to college, according to commission figures. Forty-four percent of black students and 41% of Hispanic and Latino students continued their education after graduation.

Kile also said that male students are “increasingly choosing” not to participate in post-secondary education.

However, 21st Century Scholars students in Indiana are making the leap and have “a very high rate of college attendance,” Kile continued. The scholarship fund covers full tuition and fees at Indiana colleges and universities for low-income students enrolling in the eighth grade.

According to new data, eighty-one percent of scholars in the 2022 cohort advanced to post-secondary education. That compares with 59% of non-academic students who continued their studies.

CHE officials also identified a new trend with the Class of 2022: Of the students who go to college, more are enrolling in out-of-state schools.

About 27% of graduating seniors enrolled in one of Indiana’s four-year public institutions, followed by 10% who attend a two-year public school and 8% who enrolled in a private college or university.

Another 8% went to a school outside of Indiana, according to the data.

CHE initiatives continue

A data update on the class of 2021 was also presented Thursday.

CHE officials said 51% of the 2021 cohort who enrolled in a postsecondary program within a year of high school graduation met all three early college success benchmarks: they did not need remediation, they completed all courses they attempted during their first year of enrollment. , and persisted until the second year of schooling.

According to the latest numbers, 77% of the 2021 cohort that enrolled in a post-secondary program persisted into their second year, which Kile said is the highest persistence rate in more than a decade.

Still, Kile and other commission officials emphasized ongoing efforts to boost postsecondary enrollment.

Current initiatives include:

  • Additional Frank O’Bannon Grant Support: Starting with the 2023 cohort, a 35% increase in grants went into effect.
  • “Pre-Admission Letters,” a program started by CHE last year, which directed Hoosier students to at least three Indiana colleges and universities they were eligible to attend.
  • Automatic enrollment for eligible 21st Century Fellows, doubling the number of fellows in the Class of 2027 from 20,000 to more than 40,000.
  • Add incentives for Indiana campuses to prioritize enrollment of low-income youth and adults.

Kile also highlighted CHE’s continued expansion of Indiana College Core offerings, as College Core completion “is the best predictor of going to college.”

The curriculum consists of a 30-credit hour block of general education courses that transfer between all Indiana public institutions and some private universities.

Adding to the effort, a new law signed by the governor in March will require College Core courses to be more accessible to high school students across the state, and requires Hoosier colleges and universities, except Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University , to offer three one-year degree programs by July 2025.

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