The Idaho State Board of Education reported this week that the percentage of high school graduates who went on to college or other training in 2015 dropped below 50 percent.
It was a disappointing result for officials who have been talking about the need to increase that rate for several years, and seemed contradictory to the increased high school graduation rate reported earlier in the week.
SBOE spokesperson Blake Youde said the so-called “go-on rate” dropped from 52 percent in 2014 to just 46 percent in 2015. It marks the second year of decline, as the number stood at 54 percent in 2013, and is far below the state’s goal of 60 percent by 2020, just five years away.
“We have competing interests,” Youde said.
A 2015 study by the University of Idaho found, he said, “only about one third of men go on; over half of women. The main reason for young men was they could find work immediately.”
This highlights, Youde said, “what we need to do as a state to help school districts and help students and families see that going on to college is indeed an option, whether they’re not sure they can academically, they’re not sure they can financially.”