Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) illustrates the adjusted cohort graduation rate for students in the United States. The adjusted cohort provides the percentage of students who graduate on time, four years after entering the ninth grade, with a regular diploma. Data are adjusted for transfers out, in, deaths, and other issues that impact the original cohort.
In total, 85 percent of all entering ninth-grade students graduate from high school on time. Approximately 8 percent of young adults will end up earning a GED over time, making total graduation rates approximately 93 percent (not illustrated in these data*). Asian/Pacific Islanders have the highest graduation rate (91 percent) and American Indian/Alaska Natives have the lowest (72 percent) by race/ethnic group. Students with disabilities and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students have the lowest on-time graduation rates (67 and 66 percent, respectively). Overall adjusted cohort graduation rates rose from 79 to 85 percent between 2010-11 and 2016-17.
SOURCE: McFarland, J., Cui, J., Holmes, J., and Wang, X. (2019). Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 2019 (NCES 2020-117). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 19, 2020 from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch by the Educational Policy Institute.
*This represents status graduation rates which are calculated differently with Census Bureau population data and include students who do not graduate on time but earn a diploma through a non-standard manner (e.g., General Education Development test, or GED).