Plans of High School Graduates
What does this measure?
The self-reported post-graduation plans of high school seniors reported in a state survey.
Why is this important?
Higher education is associated with greater earnings and standard of living. Post-graduate plans are also an indirect measure of the educational strength of the region's schools.
How is the region performing?
The proportion of graduates planning to attend college grew from 80% in 2001 to 82% in 2014, but the share of graduates headed to 4-year colleges has slipped while the proportion planning on 2-year colleges has grown. Since 2001, the proportion planning on a 4-year college dropped from 45% to 42%, while the share planning on a 2-year college rose from 35% to 40%. This trend was somewhat mirrored at the state level (excluding NYC), with 4-year college-going rates falling. But throughout the state more students were still headed to 4-year college (49%) than to 2-year college (34%) in 2014. Eight percent of seniors in the region planned on working after graduation and 3% planned to join the military, comparable with state rates. Dutchess County had the highest rate of seniors planning to attend a 2- or 4-year college (86%), followed by Orange (81%) and Ulster (78%).
Overall college-going rates (2- or 4-year) were highest (90% or more) in the following school districts: Arlington, Pawling, Spackenkill, and Wappingers in Dutchess, and Monroe-Woodbury in Orange. They were lowest (below 75%) in Dover and Hyde Park in Dutchess; Middletown, Newburgh, and Port Jervis in Orange; and Ellenville and Rondout in Ulster.
Notes about the data
The plans of a high school senior may not come to fruition because of several reasons, including finances, lack of admission opportunities, or a change of plans between the survey and graduation.