Idaho ‘go-on’ rates: a deeper look

On Thursday, I wrote about the current numbers measuring Idaho’s high school “go-on” rates — and the troubling big-picture trend.

Thursday’s sobering takeaway: More than a year after graduating high school, only 52 percent of the Class of 2013 have enrolled in two- or four-year college. The 2012 number was 54 percent.

Today, let’s take a closer look at the trends and the outliers.

What’s happening in the big districts?

Numbers are flat or declining in Idaho’s 10 largest districts. The breakdown:

District 2012 rate 2013 rate
West Ada 70 61
Boise 64 61
Nampa 50 50
Pocatello-Chubbuck 52 49
Coeur d’Alene 61 56
Bonneville 55 44
Idaho Falls 56 50
Twin Falls 57 53
Vallivue 51 45
Madison 57 38

Footnote: The double-digit decreases in Bonneville and Madison may have a lot to do with church missions. Both districts are in Eastern Idaho — where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the prevailing faith. Young church members often complete missions after graduating from high school.

Top 5 (25 or more graduates)

  1. Meridian Medical Arts Charter School (39 graduates, 92 percent).
  2. Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy (53 graduates, 83 percent).
  3. Meridian Technical Charter (38 graduates, 79 percent).
  4. Bruneau-Grand View Joint District (25 graduates, 76 percent).
  5. Cottonwood Joint District (44 graduates, 75 percent).

Footnote: The three charters and Cottonwood’s Prairie High School all scored above the state average on the Scholastic Aptitude Test in 2012-13, with the Coeur d’Alene charter ranking No. 1 in the state. Bruneau-Grand View managed a high go-on rate despite below-average SAT scores: The average score at its Rimrock High School was 1,101, compared to a state average of 1,354.

Bottom 5 (25 or more graduates)

  1. Kootenai Bridge Academy (79 graduates, 20 percent).
  2. Canyon-Owyhee School Service Agency (36 graduates, 22 percent).
  3. Idaho Connects charter school (27 graduates, 26 percent).
  4. iSucceed Virtual High School (49 graduates, 29 percent).
  5. Fremont County Joint School District (166 graduates, 30 percent).

Footnote: Kootenai Bridge Academy, Idaho Connects and iSucceed are virtual charter schools. Kootenai and iSucceed received one star in the 2012-13 state five-star ratings; Idaho Connects is a two-star school.

Most students attending four-year college (25 or more graduates)

  1. Meridian Medical Arts (39 graduates, 77 percent).
  2. Meridian Technical Charter (38 graduates, 71 percent).
  3. Cottonwood district (44 graduates, 68 percent).
  4. Kamiah Joint School District (37 graduates, 62 percent).
  5. Lapwai School District (26 graduates, 62 percent).

State average: 35 percent.

Footnote: Lapwai, located on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation, made this list despite high poverty rates. Nearly 89 percent of students were eligible for free or reduced lunch in 2012-13, ranking second highest in the state. Kamiah also ranked high on the 2012-13 list, with 60 percent of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

Most students attending private college (25 or more graduates)

  1. Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy (53 graduates, 34 percent).
  2. Liberty Charter School (28 graduates, 29 percent).
  3. Victory Charter School (26 graduates, 23 percent).
  4. Butte County Joint School District (35 graduates, 23 percent).
  5. Madison School District (333 graduates, 22 percent).

State average: 10 percent.

Footnote: Madison is based in Rexburg, home to Brigham Young University-Idaho, a private four-year college owned by the Mormon Church.

Most students attending out-of-state schools (25 or more graduates)

  1. Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy (53 graduates, 51 percent).
  2. Fruitland School District (109 graduates, 41 percent).
  3. West Side School District (48 graduates, 38 percent).
  4. New Plymouth School District (60 graduates, 30 percent).
  5. Glenns Ferry School District (34 graduates, 29 percent).

State average: 14 percent.

Footnote: Not surprisingly, several border communities on this list: New Plymouth and Fruitland, on the Idaho-Oregon state line, and Southeast Idaho’s West Side, just a few miles from Utah.

For more data from your school, go to Idaho Ed Trends.


  • Adam Collins

    Until the fundamental economic structure of the state changes, there is absolutely no incentive for students who graduate from Idaho high schools and want to stay in Idaho to seek higher education. Incurring debt seeking higher education necessitates good paying jobs with professional advancement. Idaho lacks this. Always has. Always will.