Where California High School Students Attend College
For as much as we know about the economic benefits of a college degree, California policymakers and educators have little information about the college destinations of high school graduates. To fill this information gap, we assembled a unique data set of three recent cohorts of public high school students matched with college enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse. This report, a product of a partnership with the California Department of Education, details where California public high school students attend college and how college attendance and destinations vary by county.
- Among California public high school students, 63% enroll in college following high school graduation.
- 26% of high school students enroll in a four-year college.
- 37% of high school students enroll in a two-year college.
- Among California public high school students who enroll in college:
- 28% enroll in public four-year campuses in-state (18% at CSU, 10% at UC).
- 57% enroll in public two-year in-state community colleges.
- 4% enroll in private in-state colleges, predominately four-year institutions.
- 11% enroll in out-of-state institutions.
- Only 7% of all high school students (or 11% of all students who enroll in college) leave the state to attend college after high school, these students reach every state in the nation.
- Substantial disparities in college enrollment exist by student subgroups:
- Female students are more likely to go to college, and more likely to attend four-year colleges, than male students.
- Students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds enroll in college at lower rates than their more advantaged peers.
- College enrollment, particularly by higher education sector, varies by race/ethnicity.
Suggested citationKurlaender, M., Reed, S., Cohen, K., Naven, M., Martorell, F., & Carrell, S. (2018, December). Where California high school students attend college [Report]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/where-california-high-school-students-attend-college