FOUR KEY TRANSITION POINTS
Four key transition points mark students' progress from high school to completion of a college degree. The most effective policies address these important transitions.
- High School Graduation
The first key transition measure is the proportion of ninth graders who attain a high school diploma within four years. This is important because increasing numbers of students are dropping out of high school.
- Entry into Higher Education
The number of high school graduates who enter college depends on student preparation levels and the capacity of the college and university system. Improving these factors is within the reach of state policies
- Persistence in Higher Education
The highest number of college dropouts generally occurs in the first year. Because of this, the number of freshmen who enroll for a second year is a telling milestone
- Completing Higher Education
Holding a college degree generally increases an individual's income level. Still, less than 50 percent of first-time, full-time college students complete an associate's degree within three years or a bachelor's degree within six years at their original institution.
TABLE 1: Success Rate per 100 Ninth Graders at Each Transition Point (2002)
Out of 100 Ninth Graders, How Many ...
|* Delaware data are partly from 2000 because technical colleges did not report first-time freshman enrollment.
Table 1 presents the four key transition points using national data for all 50 United States. The table uses a starting group of 100 ninth graders. From the left, it presents the figures state by state for:
- High school students graduating compared to the number of ninth grade students four years earlier.
- High school graduates immediately entering college.
- College starters returning for their second year.
- College entrants completing an associate's degree within three years or a bachelor's degree within six years (150% time).