How prepared are high school graduates for their next step?In the 2018–2019 school year, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that the graduation rate for public high school students had risen to 86% — the highest on record since it was first measured in 2010–2011.1 While graduation rates are a critical measurement for success, they don’t capture the whole picture for students. To better understand students’ perceptions on how prepared they felt after high school graduation, how they made their decisions, and how they feel about where they landed, we surveyed more than 500 students who graduated high school between 2019–2022.
What students thinkOur analysis revealed that there’s still great uncertainty after high school graduation when it comes to college and career, as evidenced by:
reported feeling moderately, slightly, or not at all prepared.
changed their college major at least two times.
reported not feeling sure they are where they want to be in their chosen education or career pathway.
were not following any educational or career pathway.
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1 Public High School Graduation Rates, National Center for Education Statistics, May 2021,