Narrowing Achievement Gaps

More Howard County public school students are entering college immediately after graduation, and achievement gaps in the areas of college enrollment and completion rates are narrowing between groups of students, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse.

The proportion of HCPSS graduates who enter college immediately after high school has increased notably, from 77.2 percent for 2009 graduates to 82.8 percent for the Class of 2016. More than 84 percent of 2009 fall full‑time, four-year college enrollees earned a bachelor’s or higher degree within six years of high school graduation.

Especially encouraging was the 13.1 percentage-point increase in fall college enrollment among students who received free and reduced price meal services (FARMS) that occurred between 2009 and 2016, and nearly 68 percent of the 2009 fall full‑time, four-year college enrollees completed a bachelor’s or higher degree by 2015.

Improvement in enrollment rates among HCPSS Hispanic students is equally promising, with the percentage enrolling in college immediately after graduation up by 10.7 percentage points, from 62.7 percent for 2011 to 73.4 percent in 2016. College completion rates for Hispanic students are even more impressive, with nearly 90 percent of 2009 fall full-time, four-year college enrollees completing a bachelor’s or higher degree within six years.

Read more of the HCPSS report’s findings and recommendations →