Change Indicator

High school students graduating on time by race and ethnicity in United States

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Why This Indicator Matters

Students who graduate from high school on time are more likely to continue to postsecondary education and training; they are more employable and have higher incomes than students who fail to graduate. High school graduates also have better health outcomes, make healthier choices and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

This indicator is included in the KIDS COUNT Child Well-Being Index. Read the KIDS COUNT Data Book to learn more:
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Definition and Source



Percentage of an entering freshman class graduating in four years. Also called the adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR), the measure is derived by dividing the number of students who graduate in four years (including the summer following their fourth year of high school) with a regular high school diploma 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 during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out, emigrate to another country or die during the same period. Students who drop out of high school remain in the adjusted cohort—that is, the denominator of the cohort graduation rate calculation.

Data Source

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data.


S - Estimate does not meet National Center for Education Statistics standards of reliability.
N.A. - Data not available

Last Updated

December 2023