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Graduation Rates and Dropout Rates

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This webpage provides data including four- and five-year graduation rates and dropout rates for Iowa public schools.

Four-year Graduation Rates

Five-year Graduation Rates

Dropout Rates

How Rates Are Calculated

Four-year Graduation Rates

With the statewide identification system and Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) data, Iowa can follow the same group of students over several years and implement the first-time freshman rates (students who repeated their 9th grade year were not included). The four-year graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of students (denominator) who graduate with a regular high school diploma in four years or less by the number of first-time 9th graders enrolled minus the number of students who transferred out plus the total number of students who transferred in.

Iowa Four Year Cohort Graduation Rate = (FG + TIG) / (F + TI - TO)
FG - First time 9th grade students in fall four years ago and graduated within four years
TIG - Students who transferred in grades 9 to 12 and graduated in four consecutive school years
F - First time 9th grade students in fall four years ago
TI - Transferred in the first time 9th graders in grades 9 to 12
TO - Transfer out (including emigrates and deceased)

First-time freshmen and transferred-in students include: resident students attending a public school in the district; non-resident students open-enrolled in, whole-grade sharing in, or tuition in; and foreign students on Visa. Those excluded are: home-schooled and nonpublic schooled students; public school students enrolled in another district, but taking courses on a part-time basis; and foreign exchange students. Students receiving regular diplomas are included as graduates in the numerator. Early graduates are included in the original cohort. All students who take longer to graduate (including students with IEPs) are included in the denominator, but not in the numerator for the four-year rate.

Five-year Graduation Rates

The five-year cohort graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of students (denominator) who graduate with a regular high school diploma in five years or less by the number of first-time 9th graders enrolled minus the number of students who transferred out plus the total number of students who transferred in. The five-year cohort rate will maintain the same denominator as the previous year’s four-year rate, simply adding students who graduate in the fifth year to the numerator.

Iowa Five Year Cohort Graduation Rate = (FG + TIG) / (F + TI - TO)
FG - First time 9th grade students in fall five years ago and graduated in five years
TIG - Students who transferred in grades 9 to 12 and graduated in four consecutive school years
F - First time 9th grade students in fall five years ago
TI - Transferred in the first time 9th graders in grades 9 to 12
TO - Transfer out (including emigrates and deceased)

Dropout Rates

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) definitions used for dropouts include students who satisfy one or more of the following conditions:

  • Was enrolled in school at some time during the previous school year and was not enrolled as of Count Day of the current year or
  • Was enrolled in school at some time during the previous school year and left the school before the previous summer and
  • Has not graduated from high school or completed a state or district-approved educational program; and
  • Does not meet any of the following exclusionary conditions:
    1. transfer to another public school district, private school, or state or district-approved educational program,
    2. temporary school-recognized absence for suspension or illness,
    3. death, or
    4. move out of the state or leave the country

A student who has left the regular program to attend an adult program designed to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) or an adult high school diploma administered by a community college is considered a dropout. However, a student who enrolls in an alternative school or alternative program administered by a public school district is not considered a dropout.

The numerator of the dropout rate is the total number of dropouts in the school year for the grade span being calculated and the denominator is the total fall enrollment of grades for the grade span being calculated.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on September 25, 2017 at 8:16pm.