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Change Indicator

High school students not graduating on time by race and ethnicity in United States

High school students not graduating on time by race and ethnicity

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Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

Definition and Source



The percentage of an entering freshman class not graduating in four years. The measure is derived from the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR). The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. Students entering grade 9 for the first time form a cohort that is “adjusted” by adding any students who subsequently transfer into the cohort and subtracting any students who subsequently transfer out.

Data Source

Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Digest of Education Statistics, accessible online at


S - Data have been suppressed by NCES due to small sample size and/or small population size.
N.A. – Data not available.
As of May 2014, only percentages were publicly available.

State educational agencies were allowed to change requirements for a high school diploma to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore caution should be used when interpreting changes between 2019–20 and prior years of data. Due to data quality concerns and late delivery of data, in 2019-2020, the national estimate was calculated using imputed data for Illinois and Texas. Estimates for Illinois and Texas are based on data provided directly by each state's education agency.

Last Updated

April 2023