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College-going Rate Declines Slightly

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May 1, 2014

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College-going Rate Declines Slightly

Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that the percentage of high school graduates immediately enrolling in postsecondary education is continuing a downward slide, to 66 percent in October 2013.

The BLS numbers indicate that 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates had enrolled in postsecondary education by October of the same year, slightly lower than the 66.2 percent rate the year prior. According to The New York Times, this is down from a high of 70 percent in 2009. Remember, this measure is only capturing immediate enrollment in postsecondary education, not students who may enroll in later semesters.

Of the high school graduates who had enrolled in postsecondary, 27 percent were also employed, while 51 percent of high school graduates not enrolled in college and 31 percent of students who had dropped out in the 2012-13 school year were working. This has risen from the October 2012 numbers, in which 45.7 percent of high school graduates not enrolled in college and 23.8 percent of students who had dropped out were employed, pointing to a recovering job market.

Meanwhile, recent data from the Lumina Foundation shows an increase in postsecondary attainment for U.S. adults.

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