College entrance rate: city public high grads edge past statewide peers

Nearly 70 percent of 2012 graduates of New Orleans public high schools went on to college, new state data show.

Almost 60 percent enrolled right after high school. The rest had enrolled by the fall of 2013, or 16 months after they graduated.

The rate of college enrollment for graduates of New Orleans public high schools leads the state average by two percentage points. Data for past years was not immediately available from the state Department of Education, making it impossible to say whether current rates, first noted Monday on the nonprofit Educate Now! website, are an improvement.

High school graduates hailing from schools run by the Orleans Parish School Board, the local district known for higher academic performance, outpaced the Recovery School District’s Class of 2012. About 80 percent of OPSB’s graduates went to college, while close to 60 percent of RSD’s graduates went.

The state-run RSD, which took charge of schools that were failing under OPSB management before Hurricane Katrina, have gotten better with time.

School-by-school data show that fewer than half the students graduating from RSD high schools entered college immediately, while more than half of OPSB students did so. On average, the college-bound RSD grads waited a year before enrolling.

Overall, about 40 percent of the graduates of New Orleans public high schools went to a community college, the data show. And, a clear majority of them — 85 percent — stayed in state for college.

The data don’t show whether the New Orleans high school graduates stayed the course through their first or second year of college. In 2010, Louisiana’s college graduation rate for public four-year colleges was close to 40 percent, according to a study by the Southern Regional Education Board. For two-year colleges, it was only six percent.

College enrollment rates for the Class of 2013 are not yet available, a state spokeswoman said, though release of the data is expected within weeks.

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About Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams stays on top of the city's loosely organized collection of public schools, with a special emphasis on charter schools. In 2011 she was recognized by the Press Club of New Orleans for her reporting on charter school transparency and governance. In 2012, she was part of a team that received a National Edward R. Murrow Award for their work following a New Orleans family's recovery after Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Edna Karr Secondary School in Algiers, and she obtained her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. She can be reached at (504) 575-8191.

  • nickelndime

    COLLEGE ENTRANCE RATES & CITY PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS: Why are the Class of 2012 statistics (college enrollment rates) out in 2014 (a year and a half later), but the Class of 2013 college enrollment rates will be out in a couple of weeks – all of this from a state spokeswoman?! Please, if there is a gawd, the spokeswoman is NOT Zoey Reed. Is the State taking lessons from the City, sort of like how the OPSB distributes funding (you know, like 1-2 years behind)? And yes, initial enrollment is only one part of the equation. How many of the 2012 enrollees were still enrolled in 2013, or is the spokeswoman going to provide another limited view of the percentages for new enrollees as it appears she did for 2012? Who is tracking these students? How about the high schools? (rolling on the floor). Yes, I am picking on the State, the OPSB, and by and large, the schools (there are a few exceptions) – and they (LDOE/RSD/State/OPSB, etc.) deserve to be picked on!

  • Ailuri

    It’s good to see some good news about Nola public schools…
    Of course, as with everything in the city, there are still a ton of questions…
    Is anyone studying the college attendance rates to determine why it has gone up? This seems like an important thing to know (both in terms of assessing what is being done “right” and what is still a problem.)
    Also- how does it correspond to graduation rates? Are there the same number/percent of kids graduating? If kids who are not college-ready are simply dropping out before graduation instead, that could skew the numbers.
    I’d love to see a chart comparing what percent of graduating kids go to college and what percent of kids who completed 11th grade in the city go to college.