GOSA Releases Postsecondary Enrollment Study

August 20, 2009
Two Thirds of Georgia High School Graduates Enrolling in College

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) today released a report that tracks how many of Georgia’s public high school graduates go to college and where they enroll. The study is the first of its kind and presents details on students’ out‐of‐state and private college enrollment that cannot currently be found anywhere else.

“This analysis provides much needed information to education stakeholders across Georgia”, said GOSA Executive Director, Kathleen Mathers. “For the first time, we know not only how many students went to a technical college or university system institution in Georgia, but we also know how many students went to schools like Auburn, Emory, Notre Dame, and Benedict College”.
Key findings are detailed by school system and by school in the comprehensive report, which shows that 64.7% of Georgia’s 2008 high school graduates enrolled in a postsecondary institution. While 77% of them enrolled in a public college or university in Georgia, nearly a quarter of the state’s 2008 graduates opted to attend a private postsecondary institution in Georgia or to leave the state for their postsecondary experience.
Additional findings for high school graduates from 2000‐08 suggest that Georgia’s research institutions remain popular for many students across the state. The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State University were among the ten most popular institutions for Georgia’s high school graduates.
Yet technical colleges have also been a very popular choice for Georgia’s graduates, primarily for students from smaller communities. In fact, a technical college ranked among the top 10 most popular institutions in 165 school systems for graduates of the classes of 2000‐07. A technical college was the most popular choice for 62 of those school systems.
As for students who travel outside of Georgia for postsecondary education, a considerable number settle in neighboring states. From 2000‐07, Alabama proved to be the most popular out‐of-state postsecondary choice, followed by Florida , South Carolina, Tennessee, and North Carolina respectively. For the high school class of 2008, the top five most popular out‐of‐state institutions were all in Alabama, and they collectively enrolled 1,452 of Georgia’s high school graduates.
Four of the top 10 most popular out‐of‐state postsecondary institutions in 2008 were Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Alabama State University, Tuskegee University, Florida A&M University and South Carolina’s Benedict College. Some of Georgia’s private HBCUs – Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse University‐‐enrolled similar numbers of public high school graduates compared to their out‐of‐state counterparts.
Somewhat surprisingly, the University of Phoenix, which is technically headquartered in Arizona and administers online and private traditional courses and degree programs, was the 6th most popular out‐of‐state postsecondary choice for the class of 2008 (though many students attended physical locations in Georgia).
“This is the first of several related studies that GOSA will undertake,” said Dr. Eric Wearne, Deputy Director of GOSA. “Subsequent analyses will identify how many of these students stayed in college and earned degrees, which will be linked to how successful they were as high school students.”
GOSA is able to gather this information through its contract with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to study postsecondary enrollment and other outcomes of Georgia’s public high school graduates. GOSA’s contract allows every school system in Georgia to work independently with the NSC to do their own analyses, at no cost to the system.

The full report is included below.

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