Skip To ContentSkip To Content
    Summary findings on College Going and College Persistence of SPS students from the National Student Clearinghouse
    Posted on 03/20/2018

    Between 2009 and 2016, the percent of students attending college during the first year after high school graduation has remained relatively steady, with values hovering between 70 percent and 72 percent (71 percent for Class of 2016). SPS Historically Underserved students of color (defined as African-American/black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander) enrolled in college at lower rates than other student groups. For example, for the Class of 2016, there is a 15-point college enrollment gap between white students (77 percent enrolled within one year of graduation) and African American students (62 percent enrolled within one year of graduation).

    Percent of students enrolled in college anytime during the first year after high school by race

    While overall college-going trends have been steady for the district as a whole, there is variation within the district’s 10 comprehensive high schools. Over the last 5 years, 7 out of 10 comprehensive high schools have improved their college-going rates.

    Percent of Students Enrolled in College at Any Time During the First Year After High School

    Over the last 3 years, approximately 20 percent of SPS graduates have attended local Tier-1 Research Institutions (University of Washington and Washington State University). Notably, the proportion of Rainier Beach HS graduates attending UW or WSU has increased from 5 percent for Class of 2014 to 16 percent for Class of 2016.

    The Top 10 most common institutions for college enrollment are:

    Most Common Institutions of Enrollment in the Fall Immediately Following HS Graduation for All Classes (2009 through 2016) Combined

    For those SPS students enrolled in college within the first year after graduation from high school, 87-89 percent return to college for a second year. While there are gaps in the proportion of students returning to college between student groups, these gaps are not as large as for college enrollment, and overall, persistence rates for SPS students is relatively high for all groups. For example, for the Class of 2016, the persistence rate for Historically Underserved students of color was 82 percent.

    Finally, the National Student Clearinghouse data shows that less than half of SPS graduates earn a college degree within six years. The data shows a slightly positive trend for all students, from 44 percent for Class of 2009 to 46 percent for class of 2011. Notably, the upward trend for all students has been driven by increasing numbers of students of color earning college degrees (from 23 percent for Class of 2009 to 27 percent for Class of 2011).

    Percent of high school class who completed a degree within six years (Includes two-year and four-year institutions (associates, bachelors, and advanced degrees only)