College Enrollment

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The interactive figure above examines the relationship between 2011–12 and 2012–13 Kentucky public high school graduates’ performance on the eighth-grade math Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT) and their enrollment in college the fall following graduation from high school. It allows readers to put Kentucky high schools’ seamless college enrollment rates in context by identifying the average academic performance of their graduates prior to entering high school.

The default setting of the figure plots the average eighth-grade math KCCT score and average seamless college enrollment rate for each public high school in Kentucky. Higher average scores were associated with higher rates of seamless college enrollment. Yet, differences in seamless college enrollment rates existed among schools that served students with similar eighth grade achievement. For example, high schools where graduates’ average eighth-grade math KCCT score was within one point of the state average of 45 (dashed gold line) had seamless college enrollment rates that ranged from about 36% to 73%. Similarly, high schools where the average seamless college enrollment rate was about 57% (follow along the dashed blue line) had average eighth-grade math achievements that varied substantially. These patterns indicate that, although students’ academic preparation prior to high school is a predictor of college enrollment, other factors also influence college enrollment rates.

The interactive features of the figure offer several ways to explore these findings for specific schools and types of colleges.

  • Switch Outcomes: Use the checkboxes below "Student Outcome" to switch between high schools’ overall, four-year and two-year seamless college enrollment rates.
  • View Tooltip: Hover over a point to identify the high school it represents, along with the following information about the school: district name, district type, average eighth-grade math KCCT score, overall seamless college enrollment rate, seamless college enrollment rate at four-year colleges, seamless college enrollment rate at two-year colleges, percent of students eligible for free/reduced-price meals, and total number of 2011–12 and 2012–13 high school graduates.
  • Highlight Specific Schools: Click on a point to highlight it. Schools that are highlighted will also be highlighted on the other figures in this section.
  • Select Specific Schools: Click on individual high schools in the sidebar’s "Select a School" drop down box to explore the average outcomes from particular high schools of interest.
  • Explore by District Type: Use the "Urban County," "Rural County" and "Independent" checkboxes in the sidebar to highlight schools according to district type.

Example: 
Switch between "Four-Year College Enrollment" and "Two-Year College Enrollment" checkboxes to compare and contrast the relationships between Kentucky high schools’ two-year and four-year college enrollment rates and the average eighth-grade math KCCT scores of their graduates. On average, high schools’ two-year college enrollment rates (19%) are lower than their four-year college enrollment rates (38%). Further, while four-year seamless college enrollment rates are positively associated with students’ performance on the eighth-grade math KCCT, there is a weak relationship between two-year college enrollment and average eighth-grade math KCCT scores. Research suggests that other factors, such as students’ income level and family background, are more powerful predictors of two-year college enrollment.1

This figure allows readers to explore Kentucky public high school’s overall, two-year and four-year seamless college enrollment rates for different student groups. The default setting of the figure depicts seamless college enrollment rates by high school for all 2011–12 and 2012–13 graduates of Kentucky public high schools. The default provides an overview of the range of college enrollment rates in the state: high schools’ overall seamless college enrollment rates ranged widely from 27% to 90%.

The scatter plot above reveals that students’ eighth-grade math KCCT scores are an important predictor of seamless college enrollment. Click the "Top/Bottom Quartile" checkbox in order to explore variation in seamless college enrollment rates among students with similar scores. Not surprisingly, students with higher eighth grade achievement levels (right-hand side) are more likely to enroll in college. However, there is wide variation in seamless college enrollment across Kentucky public high schools among both top- and bottom-quartile students. At some high schools, a greater percentage of bottom quartile students seamlessly enrolled in college than did top-quartile students in other high schools. Additionally, in contrast to the high school graduation rates figure, the variation in college enrollment rates was much larger than the variation in high school graduation rates among top-quartile students.

Use the figure’s interactive tools to compare and contrast Kentucky high schools’ seamless college enrollment rates.

  • Switch Outcomes: Use the checkboxes below "Student Outcome" to view high schools’ overall, two-year and four-year seamless college enrollment rates.
  • Switch Student Subgroups: Use the checkboxes below "Student Subgroup" to view high schools’ average outcomes among all students, or exclusively among students in the top and bottom-quartile of eighth-grade math KCCT scores.
  • View Tooltip: Hover over a bar to identify the high school it represents, along with the following information about the school: district name, district type, average eighth-grade math KCCT score, overall seamless college enrollment rate, seamless college enrollment rate at four-year colleges, seamless college enrollment rate at two-year colleges, percent of students eligible for free/reduced-price meals, and total number of 2011–12 and 2012–13 high school graduates.
  • Highlight Specific Schools: Click on a bar to highlight it. Schools that are highlighted will also be highlighted on the other figures in this section.
  • Select Specific Schools: Click on individual high schools in the sidebar’s "Select a School" drop down box to explore the average outcomes from particular high schools of interest.
  • Explore by District Type: Use the "Urban County," "Rural County" and "Independent" checkboxes in the sidebar to view schools according to district type.

Example:
With the "Top/Bottom Quartile" checkbox selected, investigate the relationships between eighth-grade math KCCT scores and enrollment in two-year or four-year colleges. Students who scored in the top quartile statewide on the eighth-grade math KCCT were significantly more likely to enroll in four-year colleges than bottom-quartile students. However, in some high schools, a surprising proportion of top-quartile students did not seamlessly enroll in four-year colleges. On average, two-year college enrollment was slightly higher among bottom-quartile students than among top-quartile students.

The interactive map above illustrates the overall, two-year and four-year seamless college enrollment rates for Kentucky public school districts, as well as the locations of the Kentucky two-year and four-year institutions of higher education included in the SDP College-Going Diagnostic for Kentucky. Research shows that geographic proximity to college is an important factor in students’ college enrollment decisions.2 This map allows readers to consider the relationship between Kentucky public school districts’ seamless college enrollment rates and their proximity to institutions of higher education.

The default setting of the map displays the seamless college enrollment rates of Kentucky public high school students who graduated in 2011–12 and 2012–13 for each school district. The analysis divides Kentucky public school districts into four quartiles based on their overall seamless college enrollment rates, shading the districts from light blue (lowest enrollment rates) to dark blue (highest enrollment rates). Two-year and four-year institutions of higher education are marked by light orange and dark orange points, respectively (click the ‘Display College on Map’ checkboxes). Districts with higher seamless college enrollment rates (darkest blue) tend to be located closer to colleges and universities. In contrast, districts located farthest away from any institutions of higher education are more likely to have lower overall seamless college enrollment rates (lighter shades of blue). For example, Fayette County, home to The University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY is in the top quartile of seamless college enrollment.

Use the interactive tools to explore the distribution of Kentucky public school districts’ seamless college enrollment rates.

  • Switch Outcomes: Use the checkboxes below "Student Outcome" to display districts’ overall, two-year and four-year seamless college enrollment rates.
  • Highlight Colleges: Use the checkboxes below "Display College on Map" to highlight the locations of two-year and four-year institutions. Hover over each college to view the name.
  • Weight Colleges by Student Enrollment: Click the "KY Public School Enrollers" checkbox to re-size the marker for each institution so that it is proportional to the number of seamlessly enrolled Kentucky public high school graduates from 2011–12.
  • View Tooltip: Hover over the map to read the following information about each district: district name, district type, average eighth-grade math KCCT score, overall seamless college enrollment rate, seamless college enrollment rate at four-year colleges, seamless college enrollment rate at two-year colleges, percent of students eligible for free/reduced-price meals, and total number of 2011–12 and 2012–13 high school graduates. Highlight the locations of individual districts by clicking on them directly in the map.
  • Explore by District Type: Use the "Urban County," "Rural County" and "Independent" checkboxes in the sidebar to highlight districts according to district type.
  • Zoom In/Out: Pan and zoom with mouse to show details for areas of the map where districts are clustered closely together.

Example:
Switch between "Two-Year College Enrollment" and "Four-Year College Enrollment" checkboxes to compare and contrast the distribution of districts’ two- or four-year enrollment rates. Notice that districts with the highest two-year college enrollment rates tend to have the lowest four-year college enrollment rates. Further, four-year and two-year enrollment is related to district location. Districts in Kentucky’s urban areas, such as Louisville and Lexington, and the districts south of Cincinnati, OH, tend to have higher four-year college enrollment rates, while the rural areas of western and southeastern Kentucky have higher two-year enrollment rates. The strong relationships between two- and four-year college enrollment and geography suggest that looking at overall college enrollment rates may mask sizeable geographic differences in enrollment at two- and four-year colleges.