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High school to college: some real numbers

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

For the first time, thanks to data from the National Student Clearinghouse, the District has provided meaningful statistics about college-going rates for students coming out of Philadelphia high schools – revealing that the average rate of college enrollment across the city is only 34 percent.

The figures are for the graduating seniors of 2009 and tell what percentage of graduates enrolled in a two- or four-year institution in the fall of 2009.

Previously, the only available figures were reported by high schools and were based on student self-reporting.

The Notebook sought out these school-by-school numbers after the release of data by the mayor’s education office in September showing that only 10 percent of the students who entered high school in 1999 had earned a degree by 2009.

The caveat about comparing schools based only on college-going rates for graduates is what it doesn’t factor in: How many students never graduate from high school; how many students never go back for a second year of college; and how many students leave school before earning a college degree.

Of course, some students from these high schools may enroll in college later.

Looking at the best and worst rates for different types of schools, there are a few surprises. Check out the list and let us know which numbers you find interesting.

Highest college-going rates (all are selective admission)

Lowest college-going rates

  • Several alternative schools with 0%

Highest college-going rates for charter schools

Lowest college-going rates for charter schools

Highest college-going rates for neighborhood high schools

Lowest college-going rates for neighborhood high schools

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