Thursday, November 23, 2017


Recently, we used data from the College Board and from the National Student Clearinghouse to do an analysis of college-going rates among our students who took one or more Advanced Placement exams. We looked at the high school graduating class of 2016, and used NSC data to ascertain the percentage of students who were enrolled in college a year after their high school graduation.

Here's what we found:

The "Go-on" rate for students taking one or more AP tests was 81%; interestingly, that's just a bit higher than the overall "Go-on" rate for AVID graduates (77%). The rate for graduates who took no AP tests was 47%; that's just a percentage point higher than the one-year percentage of students statewide in 2015 (46%).

Now, you might wonder, aren't these the same students who would have gone on to college anyway? Well, some of them are, for sure. But the percentage of students taking AP classes has increased by almost 200%, even since the turn of the century, so many more students are taking AP classes.

These data also include a number of students who went on missions for their church straight out of high school. Additionally, some colleges don't participate in the Clearinghouse, most notably the service academies. We found a number of these students and included their colleges, but a few that we are certain are in college are still missing.

The "Go on" rates for AP test-takers vary a bit by high school, but the rates are much higher than the District and Idaho "Go on" percentages.

So, what does the destination pattern look like for students who participate in AP? 

So, the percentage of students going on to Idaho schools was just a bit lower than for the general population (about 2/3 to Idaho schools). Just under 40% of AP test-takers go out of state for college.

5 or More AP Tests

We were also able to look at the students who took 5 or more Advanced Placement tests during their high school careers. typically these students would obtain credit or waivers for at least 15 credits; some would be granted many more.  This was a group of 210 students.

Note that among this group, fewer than half went to school in the state of Idaho. Of those that did 45 attended BSU, 34 went to the University of Idaho, and 7 to The College of Idaho. The most popular out-of-state destination was the University of Utah, with 19, followed by Gonzaga University (5) and BYU (5).

Otherwise, the destinations of these students were widespread. 3 went to each of the University of Puget Sound (WA), Whitman College (WA), California Polytechnic, and Westminster College (UT). 2 attended each of the University of Colorado, USC, Colorado State, Lewis and Clark (OR), University of Portland, University of Washington, Washington University (MO), Princeton (NJ), the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Among the other noteworthy colleges attended by a District student who took 5 or more AP tests were Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, Santa Clara (CA), Northwestern (IL), Purdue, Harvard, Wellesley (MA), MIT, University of Michigan, Duke, Brown (RI), Smith (MA), and Emerson (MA), an impressive assortment of top-notch colleges.

Of course, we know that many District students choose options other than 4-year colleges. The Dennis Career Technical Center offers a a large number of courses designed to prepare students for good-paying jobs in the local economy, from Auto Body, Heavy Diesel and Welding to Electrical, CNA and HVAC. Many Boise students choose to enroll in these programs and earn licenses in one of these career fields, and the District is expanding offerings at the Dennis Center to provide more choices for students.