New data shows stagnant go-on rate, improved numbers for the class of 2018

Idaho’s “go-on” rate remains largely unchanged from years past, according to new State Board of Education data.

About 44.8 percent of seniors who graduated in spring 2019 went straight to college in the fall, according to board calculations.

That’s almost identical to the 44.6 percent go-on rate for the class of 2018 reported a year ago.

Over time, the State Board expects these numbers to increase slightly, spokesman Mike Keckler said. The initial go-on rate reported each spring tends to inch up a few percentage points in the course of the next year, as the board gets updated information from colleges and universities.

For example, the State Board recently updated the immediate go-on rate for the class of 2018.

Updated data shows that 48.2 percent of Idaho’s graduating class of 2018 immediately enrolled in a two- or four-year school just months after graduating high school. That’s almost 4 percentage points higher than the rate first calculated last spring.

Over a year’s time, Keckler expects the 2019 number will improve the same way.

“Based on what we see every year, we should expect to see these numbers rise again once the data is cleaned up and we get final numbers in from the institutions,” Keckler  said. “I think we’ll see a similar pattern repeated.”

More students enroll a year or two after graduation

Idaho’s go-on rate reflects the percentage of students who enroll in a two- or four-year institution after graduating from high school.

The “immediate” go-on rate shows how many students start that journey within months, enrolling in college the fall after graduating from high school.

However, if  you give students a year, or even 16 months to enroll in college, that go-on rate improves, accounting for students who took  a “gap year,” or put college on hold for religious or financial reasons.

New data shows that more than half of Idaho’s class of 2018 had enrolled in college 12 months after high school graduation. That number was even higher 16 months after high school graduation.

  • 48.2 percent: Class of 2018 grads immediate go-on rate.
  • 51.7 percent: Class of 2018 grads enrolled one year after graduation.
  • 55.3 percent: Class of 2018 grads enrolled 16 months from graduation.

Districts large and small see big swings in go-on rates

In small school districts, one would expect the go-on rate to vary dramatically each year, since just one or two students can sway the overall grad rate.

This year, that played out in a good way for some little schools:

  • The Council School District saw a 63 percentage point jump in it’s immediate go-on rate this year. In 2018, 26.7  percent of students immediately enrolled in school. In 2019, nine of the school’s 10 seniors immediately went on, boosting that rate to 90 percent.
  • North Idaho Stem Charter Academy in Rathdrum boasted a 100 percent immediate go-on rate, with all six seniors enrolling in higher ed.
  • In the Treasure Valley, the Wilder School District saw a 36 percentage point boost in the go-on rate in 2019. That year, 17 of 26 seniors immediately enrolled, a go-on rate of 65.4 percent.

Even districts with more than 100 students in the graduating class saw some double-digit changes.

  • The Kimberly School District, with 120 seniors in the graduating class, saw a jump of 14 percentage points in the 2019 immediate go-on rate, with 63.3 percent of students going straight to college.
  • The Twin Falls District go-on rate faltered in 2019, dropping 10.5 percentage points. Of the 569 seniors, only 233 went straight to college, resulting in a go-on rate of 40.9 percent.
Sami Edge

About Sami Edge

Reporter Sami Edge, a University of Oregon graduate, joined Idaho Education News in 2019. She is a 2019 Education Writers Association fellow reporting on Latino student outcomes in Idaho. She also is a 2019 American Press Institute fellow. She can be reached at [email protected].

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