Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo
California Department of Education News Release (with no CDE logo)
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #11-77
October 6, 2011
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Reports Nearly Three-Fourths
of California High School Grads go on to College

Torlakson unveils new information that for first time
uses CALPADS and two other data systems to produce results

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reported today that nearly three out of four California high school graduates in 2008-09 enrolled in a college or university somewhere in the nation, according to data gathered by the California Department of Education.

"In a knowledge-based economy, college and career training are becoming the price of admission to the job market, so it's good to see so many California graduates taking the next step on the path to success," Torlakson said.

The department's new postsecondary transition data provides new insights on where high school graduates are enrolling, information that was not available before the creation of a statewide student tracking system.

For the first time, the department matched student data from its California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) with two other data systems to create college-going rates for California high school graduates who enroll in colleges and universities inside and outside the state.

First, CALPADS data from 2008-09 was matched with postsecondary enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). NSC is a national nonprofit organization that verifies student degrees and enrollment data. The result produced a college-going rate of 74.4 percent of California graduates in 2008-09 enrolled in a postsecondary institution in the United States.

In addition, CALPADS data from 2006-07 was matched with enrollment data from the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC). CPEC maintains a data system used to audit and evaluate student progress in California postsecondary education. The result produced the number and percentage of public school students who enrolled in higher educational institutions in California and earned credits within a specified time period. That process revealed a college-going rate of 51.3 percent of California graduates in 2006-07 enrolled in a California Community College, a California State University, or on a University of California campus. Also, of the 356,654 graduates, 28.3 percent earned at least one year of credit within two years of their enrollment.  

These two new reports display state-, county-, district-, and school-level reports by subgroup. Both reports contain footnotes that describe the information included in the reports as well as disclaimers on the accuracy of the matched data. For example, the numbers and percentages of students represented in these reports are most likely underestimated because the NSC database includes 93 percent of postsecondary institutions. That means results are not available for the remaining 7 percent of postsecondary institutions. Also, some schools may have underestimated postsecondary enrollment counts if a significant number of graduates opted out of having their postsecondary enrollment information released. 

To download the Postsecondary Transition reports, go to the California Department of Education's DataQuest at DataQuest. For more information on NSC, please visit National Student Clearinghouse: Degree verification & enrollment verification [] External link opens in new window or tab.. For CPEC, please visit California Postsecondary Education Commission - Home Page [Note: The preceding text link is no longer active].

# # # #

Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, February 17, 2017
Recently Posted in News Releases