Louisiana graduates enrolled in college is at all-time high

Nearly 5,000 more high school graduates enrolled in two- and four-year colleges in 2018 than in 2012, the state Department of Education and Louisiana Board of Regents announced today.

A record 25,083 public high school graduates from the Class of 2018 enrolled in college in the fall immediately following graduation, an increase of 1,566 over the Class of 2017 and an increase of 4,626 over the Class of 2012, according to the department.

The number of graduates attending higher education represents an increase of 23 percent since 2012.

Twenty-two school systems exceeded the state’s average graduation rate and college enrollment rate in 2018. The top three were Zachary, West Feliciana, and St. James parishes–all of which topped 68 percent.

More than half of the growth is due to African-American students pursuing education and training after high school. Nearly 2,500 more African-American graduates from the Class of 2018 enrolled in higher education than did from the Class of 2012.

“Louisiana is one of just four states in the nation that has aligned requirements to receive a high school diploma with admissions eligibility for the state public university system,” State Superintendent John White said, citing a report by the Center for American Progress . “We are proud to partner with the Louisiana Board of Regents to announce the results of that alignment. Not only are more students achieving eligibility for TOPS awards, they are applying those awards to their postsecondary pursuits and positioning themselves for lifelong success.”

Class of 2018 College Enrollment Highlights

The number of graduates enrolled in the Fall semester immediately following  graduation, known as the number of first-time freshmen (FTF), has also increased:

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2017-2018 2012-2018
#FTF 20,457 21,744 22,972 22,188 22,860 23,517 25,083 +1,566 +4,626
#Grad 36,705 37,655 38,785 38,244 40,031 40,735 43,707 +2,972 +7,002

The number of historically disadvantaged graduates enrolling in college also significantly increased over time. More than 2,500 more students of color, nearly 5,000 more economically disadvantaged students, and 400 more students with disabilities enrolled in college in 2018 than did in 2012.

The percentage of college-going graduates in two- and four-year colleges in 2018 has remained steady from the previous year and since 2012. In 2018, 29 percent of college-bound graduates enrolled in two-year colleges, and 71 percent enrolled in four-year colleges.

The percentage of graduates enrolling in out-of-state colleges also increased, according to the department. In 2018, 88 percent of high school graduates enrolled in an in-state college; 12 percent enrolled in out-of-state colleges; compared to 89 percent and 11 percent, respectively, in 2017.

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