Class of 2023: How many Arizona graduates will continue education?

13 News Fact Finders look into new post-Covid data
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 2:59 PM MST|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 6:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - As graduation season winds down,13 News Fact Finders learned more about education plans for the class of 2023, who spent most of high school in a pandemic. We looked at Education Forward Arizona’s progress meter, which showed high school graduation is down in Pima, Cochise, and Santa Cruz Counties. It is flat in Pinal County.

However, post high school enrollment in some kind of continuing education at a college, university, or trade school is up in all but Cochise County. These southern Arizona Counties reflect what’s going on around the state.

”We’re seeing just below 50% for the second year in a row. Before Covid that was ranging more in that 53 or 54 percent that were choosing to go to some type of education the year after high school,” said Rich Nickel, President and CEO of Education Forward Arizona. “So that’s a good thing and we expect that to level off and start rising again.”

Arizona’s graduation rate is on track with the national average, but new numbers from Tempe-based Noble Predictive Insights show, if the trajectory doesn’t go up, only 17% of today’s ninth graders will complete a college degree. The pandemic, budget cuts, and a declining birthrate are cited as potential causes.

You can watch more of Brooke Wagner’s interview with Rich Nickel here:

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