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.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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