Idaho’s low go-on rate, explained

Some 2010 national figures are generating some new and unsavory buzz about Idaho education.

The study found that Idaho’s college attendance rate — or, more exactly, the rate of high school graduates immediately going onto college — ranks last in the nation.

Idaho’s rate was 45.1 percent. The national average was 62.5 percent. And the state topping the nation, oddly enough, was Mississippi, at 78.8 percent.

A couple of footnotes:

The 2010 figures are the most recent available, but they illustrate a longer-term trend. According to the biennial reports dating back to 1992, Idaho’s go-on rates have ranked in the bottom 10 nationally since 1994, and have never broken the 50 percent threshold. (The State Board of Education’s long-term goal is to convince 60 percent of Idahoans to obtain a postsecondary degree by 2020.)

The source of the study was The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, a nonprofit that describes its mission as follows: “to improve strategic decision making in higher education for states and institutions in the United States and abroad.” 

The 2010 figures are now being featured by Don’t Fail Idaho, a statewide public awareness campaign focused on education.

Disclaimer: Don’t Fail Idaho and Idaho Education News are funded through grants from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.