New data reveals stagnant college enrollment rate among Indiana high school students

According to recent data from the Indiana Commission of Higher Education (CHE), only 53% of graduates from Indiana pursued higher education after completing high school. This statistic, which pertains to the Class of 2022, highlights the need for increased efforts to encourage students to continue their education beyond high school graduation.

According to the latest data released by state officials, the rate of Indiana high school seniors who proceed directly to college has not shown any significant change.

According to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education (CHE), the latest figures released on Thursday reveal that only 53% of Hoosier graduates from the Class of 2022 continued their education through certificate training, a two-year program, or enrollment at a four-year college. This marks the third consecutive year with this statistic.

Brooke Kile, pictured above, is a talented individual in the field of CHE (Chemical Engineering).

The number of graduates in the current year has decreased by 6% compared to the class of 2019, and it is 12% lower than the figures recorded in 2015.

According to the data, it is evident that there has been a 3% increase in the total number of high school graduates in 2022. However, this also means that there are fewer students who are enrolling in postsecondary education immediately after completing high school.

Brooke Kile, the associate commissioner for business intelligence, noted that despite the college-going rate remaining stable at 53%, there was a decrease in the number of first-time students enrolling based on the headcount perspective.

During the commission’s bi-monthly meeting on Thursday, the CHE staff shared initial data. The official numbers for 2022 will be released next week.

The state’s lowest college-going trend in recent history continues with a dismal rate, as stated by numerous state lawmakers and education officials. However, it is important to note that this decline actually started several years ago.

More students going out of state

According to the College Board, the college-going rate is measured by the proportion of students who choose to pursue higher education within the first year after completing high school.

According to the latest data from 2022, almost half (47%) of the students who participated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) training during their high school years chose to continue their education by pursuing further coursework after graduation.

However, Kile pointed out that Indiana still faces disparities in access to CTE programs among various demographic groups.

According to the commission’s data, approximately 70% of Asian students and 48% of White students who participated in CTE classes pursued higher education. The numbers indicate that 44% of Black students and 41% of Hispanic and Latino students also continued their education after graduating.

According to Kile, male students are opting out of postsecondary education at an increasing rate.

Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars students are successfully transitioning to college, according to Kile. He emphasized that these students have a high college enrollment rate. The scholarship program provides full tuition and fees for low-income students who commit to the program in the 8th grade.

According to the latest data, a staggering 81% of scholars from the 2022 cohort have successfully pursued higher education, surpassing the 59% of non-scholar students who continued their academic journey.

Officials at CHE have also noticed a new trend among the Class of 2022. They have observed that a larger number of students who are pursuing higher education are choosing to enroll in universities outside of their home state.

Approximately 27% of graduating seniors chose to pursue their education at one of Indiana’s public four-year institutions. Another 10% decided to attend a public two-year school, while 8% opted for enrollment at a private college or university.

According to the data, an additional 8% of students chose to attend schools outside of Indiana.

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According to Kile, the out-of-state enrollment has reached its highest percentage in several years. She further explained that Indiana’s college-going rates remained steady only because of the increase in out-of-state enrollment.

The speaker emphasized that it is important to note that one year does not establish a trend, so there is no need to be alarmed. However, there is a definite focus on analyzing the data from the 2023 and 2024 cohorts. This analysis will involve studying attendance patterns in order to identify any potential need for special initiatives to encourage students to remain in Indiana.

CHE initiatives continue

The Class of 2021 also had their data update previewed on Thursday.

According to CHE officials, more than half (51%) of the 2021 cohort who enrolled in a postsecondary program within a year after graduating from high school achieved success in early college. These students met all three important benchmarks: they did not require remedial classes, successfully completed all the courses they attempted during their first year, and continued their education into the second year.

In the latest data, it has been revealed that the persistence rate of the 2021 cohort, who joined a postsecondary program, reached an impressive 77%. Kile emphasized that this is the highest rate of persistence observed in over a decade.

Kile and other officials from the commission continue to emphasize their efforts in increasing postsecondary enrollment.

We are currently focusing on several initiatives:

    • Additional support from the Frank O’Bannon grant — a 35% increase to awards took effect beginning with the 2023 cohort.
    • “Pre-admissions letters,” a program first started by CHE last year , which indicated to Hoosier students at least three Indiana colleges and universities to which they qualified to attend.
    • Automatic enrollment for eligible 21st Century Scholars — which doubled the number of scholars in the 2027 graduating class from 20,000 to over 40,000.
    • Adding incentives for Indiana campuses to prioritize low-income youth and adult enrollment.

According to Kile, CHE is expanding its Indiana College Core offerings, which is considered the best indicator for college enrollment.

The curriculum includes a block of general education courses comprising 30 credit hours. These courses are transferable among all public institutions in Indiana, as well as some private colleges.

In an additional effort, the governor signed a new law in March that aims to make College Core courses more accessible to high school students in the state. Furthermore, this law also mandates that Indiana colleges and universities (excluding Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University) offer three-year degree programs by July 2025.

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New data reveals that the college-going rate for high school students in Indiana is stagnating, according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle.

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