How is Graduation Rate calculated?
When a student enters 9th grade the student enters a graduation cohort. This is a group of students who begin as first time 9th graders in a particular school year and who graduate with a regular high school diploma in four years or less. If a student does not graduate on time (within that 4 years), the student will count against that year’s graduation rate.
Cohorts can be adjusted throughout the 4-year term. A cohort is adjusted by adding any students transferring into a cohort in a school and by subtracting any students who transfer out or are otherwise allowed to be removed from the cohort.
Students are not counted in a school’s graduation rate when exiting before the end of their four years of expected enrollment in high school grade 9-12 for any of the following reasons, but only when districts obtain documentation required by federal regulation:
- Transferred to a home school curriculum or another diploma granting high school
- Moved out of the country
A student who transfers into a school is required to be assigned to the cohort in which the student started 9th grade for the first time, even if this event occurred in a different district or school.
A student not counted as graduating in four years may have:
- Dropped out, been rumored to transfer (no written confirmation), or left for reasons unknown by the school
- Left school to participate in a non-high school diploma granting educational or trade program (including GED)
- Attended high school in grades 9-12 for 4 full years without graduation (may still be seeking a diploma in 5 or 6 years)