Diversification of High School Graduates and Undergraduates

High school graduating classes have become more diverse over the last decade as non-white graduates increased from 47 percent of all graduates in 2008 to 60 percent in 2018. During the same decade, undergraduate enrollment has diversified as well. In large part the rapid diversification is lead by strong growth among both Hispanic high school graduates and undergraduates in the region between 2008 and 2018.

Notes: High school graduates are public high school graduates, which have historically been 93 percent of all high school graduates in the West. High school graduate counts do not include the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam (data not available). Foreign students and those with multiple or unknown race are disaggregated in undergraduate enrollments but not high school graduates. Undergraduate enrollments are for undergraduates at two- and four-year degree-granting, Title IV-eligible, public and private nonprofit institutions, excluding service academies. ‘Two or More Races’ is for all undergraduates who identify as two or more races and became a mandatory reporting category starting in 2009-10.

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Fall Enrollment Survey, 2008-2018, and WICHE, Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High School Graduates, 2020.

Related Resource

Knocking at the College Door

Projections of High School Graduates Through 2037

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For more information, please contact:

Colleen Falkenstern

Senior Research Analyst, Policy Analysis and Research