College Enrollment and Persistence 2018

The graph below shows the percentage of our 2018 high school graduates who enrolled in college in the fall1. The graph shows that 84% of this year’s graduates from Drew Charter School enrolled in college, which is the highest rate in APS.

The next graph includes data on the percentage of students who remained enrolled the following year. This graph looks at the high school class of 2017, because the 2018 class has not yet reached their second year.

We can see that Drew had 82% of 2017 graduates enroll in college the following fall, and that KIPP Collegiate had 80% of graduates enroll. For those students’ second year of college, 73% of Drew Secondary graduates were enrolled, compared to 53% of KIPPS graduates.2 This means that 9% of Drew’s 2017 graduates started college but didn’t continue to a second year, compared to 27% of KIPP graduates.”

The next visual shows how enrollment rates have changed over time. First year college enrollment for APS graduates rose from 52% for the 2012 cohort to 62% for the 2018 cohort3. Use the filter to view individual schools.

The next visual shows data from the college scorecard on the colleges that APS students attend. The x-axis shows the average net price4 to students of college attendance, and the y-axis shows the median earnings of students 10 years after first enrollment5. Only students who recieve some form of federal aid, such pell grants or federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, are included in the college scorecard data. Due to this limitation, the percentage of students included varies by college, but usually ranges from 35%-80%.

Mouseover or tap the graph to see graduation rates and APS enrollment over time. Of schools attended by APS students, Georgia Tech students have the highest median earnings, at $79,100. Atlanta Technical College has the lowest net price, at $2,837.

Note that several factors influence the median earnings data in addition to college quality. Choice of major has a large impact on earnings. Georgia Tech focuses on engineering, science, and technology majors, which tend to be high-paying professions. Also, more selective schools serve students with higher high school GPAs and test scores, who are more likely to be high earners regardless of college choice.

Also note that the net-price for public schools in the College Scorecard data is the in-state net price, so the net price experienced by an APS student at a non-Georgia public school would likely be higher.

To see more information on APS college enrollment rates, please see the brief here.


  1. Analysis is limited to students who graduated on-time, i.e. the class of 2018 percentage includes only those who entered high school in 2014. This group is also known as “2018 cohort graduates”.
  2. Year 2 enrollment numbers count only students who were continuously enrolled, i.e. they were also enrolled in year 1.
  3. College enrollment rates are calculated by matching data from the National Student Clearinghouse to APS records. An improvement in the matching algorithm has raised the rates for some previous years by a percentage point compared to past reports.
  4. This includes tuition, fees, supplies, and living expenses, minus federal, state, and institutional scolarships and grants. Net price is from school year 2015-2016.
  5. This includes all first-time enrollees, not just graduates. Earnings data measures the earnings of students who entered college in 2003 and 2004.