Explore the latest data and disparities for this indicator.
Where We've Been and Where We're Going
The on-time graduation rate in public schools, defined as the percentage of students awarded a high school diploma 4 years after starting 9th grade, increased by 6%, from 79% for school year 2010–11 to 84% for 2015–16, moving toward the HP2020 target of 87%. During the same time period, Hispanic, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native, and non-Hispanic black students had the greatest relative increase in on-time graduation rates (11–13%). For the 2015–16 school year, non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander students had the highest rate of on-time graduation among racial and ethnic groups.
On-Time High School Graduation (AH-5.1)
- Healthy People 2020 objective AH-5.1 tracks the on-time graduation rate from public high schools.
- HP2020 Baseline: In the 2010–11 school year, 79% of students attending public schools graduated with a regular diploma 4 years after starting 9th grade.
- HP2020 Target: 87%, a 10% improvement over the baseline, which was established for the 2010–11 school year.
- The on-time graduation rate increased from 79% in the 2010–11 school year to 84% in the 2015–16 school year.
- Among racial and ethnic groups, the non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander population had the highest rate of on-time graduation, 91% for the 2015–16 school year. On-time graduation rates for students in other racial and ethnic groups were:
- 88% among non-Hispanic white students; the best group rate was 2.8% higher
- 79% among Hispanic students; the best group rate was 14.5% higher
- 76% among non-Hispanic black students; the best group rate was 18.8% higher
- 72% among non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native students; the best group rate was 26.3% higher
On-Time High School Graduation Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 2015–16 School Year
Data source: Common Core of Data (CCD), ED/NCES
- Measures of variability were not available so percent differences and trends could not be tested for statistical significance.
- Unrounded values with additional decimal places beyond what are shown here are used in calculating health disparities, including identifying the best group rate and calculating the differences between groups. Rounded values displayed here are used in calculating changes over time and percent change needed to meet the target.
- The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.
- On-time graduation rates are measured using the 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR). The 4-year ACGR is the number of students who graduate in 4 years or less with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. From the beginning of 9th grade, students who are entering that grade for the first time form a cohort that is “adjusted” by adding any students who subsequently transfer into the cohort and subtracting any students who subsequently transfer out, emigrate to another country, or die.
- Estimates are for the 50 states and the District of Columbia that reported all data elements with the exception of:
- 2010–11 school year: Data imputed for Idaho, Kentucky, and Oklahoma
- 2011–12 school year: Data imputed for Idaho, Kentucky, and Oklahoma
- 2012–13 school year: Data imputed for Idaho; data for American Indian/Alaska Native students imputed for Virginia
- 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16 school years: Data for American Indian/Alaska Native students imputed for Virginia
- Data for this objective are available annually and come from the Common Core of Data (CCD), ED/NCES.