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Information Services - Statistical Reports

Plans of High School Graduates 1996

May 1997


Dear Friends,

I am pleased to issue our annual publication, plans of high school graduates: class of 1996.

This report provides information about the plans of students who graduated from Massachusetts public high schools in 1996. this information is one of several educational indicators we report in order to provide a more complete view of schools and school districts. it will be helpful to schools in determining how well they are meeting the needs of their students. it will also be useful to institutions and organizations which provide services to high school graduates, such as post-secondary institutions, employment training organizations, and social service agencies.

The percentage of graduates planning to continue their education at a two- or four-year college continues to increase. of the 47,994 graduates of the class of 1996, 72.2 percent planned to go on to a two- or four-year college. this represents an increase of 1.0 percentage point between 1995 and 1996, and a jump of 23.0 percentage points since 1975, the first year of the survey. the percentages of students planning to attend public four-year colleges (23.4 percent) and private four-year colleges (30.8 percent) are at record highs.

I am confident that the education reform act of 1993, with its higher standards for both students and teachers, will strengthen the opportunities for massachusetts high school graduates to obtain challenging and productive jobs, or to enter higher education, in the years ahead.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the report, please contact:

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Accountability and evaluation services
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, ma 02148
(781) 338-3000

Sincerely,

Robert v. Antonucci
Commissioner of Education


Plans of High School Graduates

Class of 1996

A total of 47,994 students graduated from massachusetts public high schools in 1996. of these graduates, 72.2 percent planned to attend a two- or four-year college, 2.6 percent planned to attend some other post-secondary institution, 16.2 percent planned to work and 2.8 percent planned to enter the military (figure 1 and table 1).

A higher percentage of students planning to attend college expected to attend a public college than a private one. of the total number of graduates, 37.5 percent planned to attend a public two- or four-year college, and 34.7 percent planned to attend a private two- or four-year college. of those planning to attend a four-year college, more expected to attend a private one than a public one (30.8 versus 23.4 percent), and of students planning to attend a two-year college, over three times as many expected to attend a public college than a private one (14.1 versus 3.9 percent).

Figure 1. plans of 1996 high school graduates

Of the total number of graduates:
  • 72.2% planned to attend college
  • 23.4% planned to attend public 4-year
  • 30.8% planned to attend private 4-year
  • 14.1% planned to attend public 2-year
  • 3.9% planned to attend private 2-year
  • 2.6% planned to attend other post-secondary schools
  • 16.2% planned to attend work
  • 2.8% planned to enter the military


Table 1. Plans Of High School Graduates: Class of 1996

 Number
of
Grads
#
2 YR
Pub
Coll
%
4 YR
Pub
Coll
%
2 YR
Priv
Coll
%
4 YR
Priv
Coll
%
Other
Post
Secndy
%
Mili-
tary

%
Work


%
Other


%
Data Not Available
Total47,99414.123.43.930.82.62.816.23.72.4
Gender
Male23,59713.321.63.027.73.14.820.23.82.8
Female24,39715.025.14.833.92.10.912.43.62.1
Racial/Ethnic Group
African American3,42013.917.28.723.33.63.712.08.98.6
Asian1,84111.024.33.443.51.51.16.84.63.7
Hispanic2,92724.813.66.313.23.84.121.07.55.8
Native American7317.827.42.715.14.11.421.98.21.4
White39,73313.524.63.432.12.52.816.72.91.6

Trends Over Time

The percentage of graduates planning to attend a two- or four-year college increased by 1.0 percentage point between 1995 and 1996 and by 23.0 percentage points between 1975 and 1996 (figure 2). the percentage of graduates planning to attend a four-year college increased by 1.3 percentage points between 1995 and 1996, while the percentage planning to attend a two-year college decreased by 0.3 percentage point. between 1975 and 1996, the percentage of graduates planning to attend a four-year college increased by 20.3 percentage points, while the percentage planning to attend a two-year college increased by 2.7 percentage points over this period.

As the percentage of graduates planning to attend college has increased, the percentages of graduates planning immediately to work, attend a non-college post-secondary institution or enter the military have in general decreased. the percentage of graduates planning to go from high school directly to work decreased by 1.2 percentage points between 1995 and 1996 and by 14.7 percentage points between 1975 and 1996. the percentage of graduates planning to attend a non-college post-secondary institution increased by 0.1 percentage point between 1995 and 1996 but decreased by 3.0 percentage points between 1975 and 1996. the percentage of graduates planning to enter the military remained the same between 1995 and 1996 and decreased by 1.2 percentage points since 1975.

Gender

A higher percentage of females (78.8 percent) than males (65.4 percent) planned to attend a two- or four-year college, while a higher percentage of males (20.2 percent) than females (12.4 percent) planned to work. over five times as many males (4.8 percent) than females (0.9 percent) planned to enter the military.

Racial/Ethnic Groups

Asian graduates were more likely than graduates from other racial/ethnic groups to plan to attend a two- or four-year college. the percentage of asian graduates (82.2 percent) planning to attend a two- or four-year college was higher than that of white graduates (73.6 percent), african-american graduates (63.1 percent), native american graduates (63.0 percent), and hispanic graduates (57.9 percent). graduates of all racial/ethnic groups, with the exception of hispanic, were more likely to attend a four-year college than a two-year college. native american graduates were more likely than graduates of other racial/ethnic groups to enter the work force, and hispanic graduates were most likely to enter the military.

Technical Information

Data about the plans of high school graduates were obtained from the year-end school indicator report for 1995-96, a survey of massachusetts public schools conducted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at the end of every school year. school officials report the number of graduating students by gender and race across nine categories of post-graduation plans.

High schools reported in the table distribution of high school graduates - class of 1996 at the end of this report are classified as follows:

  • Academic high schools offer general and college preparatory courses
  • Vocational high schools offer chapter 74 approved vocational-technical education programs
  • Comprehensive high schools offer academic courses and at least five chapter 74 approved occupational education programs

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Last Updated: May 1, 1997
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