Fewer Hoosier Students are College Bound, but more are College Ready

21st Century Scholars are more likely to attend college than their peers 

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education announces today that while Indiana college-going rates have slightly declined, Hoosier students are more prepared for college than ever. The Commission’s 2019 College Readiness Report shows that 63% of all Indiana high school graduates go directly to college, compared to 64% last year and 65% in 2017.

That said, fewer college-age students need remediation and more high school students are earning early college credit, including Advanced Placement (AP) and dual credit. The data also show that while racial, ethnic and income gaps remain, 21st Century Scholarsare more likely to attend college than their peers. 

“One of the challenges facing higher education and reflected in this report is the decline in enrollment over recent years. Declining birth rates will impact enrollment patterns in the future, too,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “While we understand that people are benefiting from a strong economy and job opportunities, we must continue to make a case for a quality degree or credential to ensure that Hoosiers are prepared for a dynamic economy. Despite slightly lower college-going rates, we are encouraged that more Hoosiers are prepared for college success.”

Indiana college-going rates have slightly decreased, putting Indiana below the national average of 67%.


High School Diploma Type: Hoosier students who earn more rigorous diplomas in high school are more likely to go to college. Roughly half (53%) of all Core 40 earners enroll directly in college after high school compared to 93% of students with an Honors diploma and only 18% of General diploma earners.

Early College Credit: More Hoosier students are earning college credit in high school through dual credit courses and AP. Overall, 64% of high school students earned early college credit—representing a two percentage point increase in one year and a 17 percentage point increase in five years. The Commission recently released data indicating that Hoosier students who earn early college credit in high school outperform their peers when it comes to enrollment, early college success and graduation.

Credential Type: More Hoosier students are enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program than any other credential type, but there are multiple educational pathways to a quality degree or credential. Of 2017 Indiana high school graduates, 69% pursued a bachelor’s degree compared to 28% pursuing an associate degree. In addition, 3% of all high school graduates enrolled in a certificate or other award program, which does not yet reflect the certificates gained through Indiana’s Next Level Jobs program.


While college-going gaps remain, 21st Century Scholars are more likely to attend college than their peers.

Achievement Gap: Overall, 86% of Scholars go directly to college after high school, compared to 39% of low-income non-Scholars and 68% of higher-income students. That said, racial, ethnic and income gaps remain. While Black and Hispanic students represent the fastest growing high school populations, college-going rates remain lower than their peers.

Geography Gap: Hoosier students located in rural areas are less likely to attend college than their peers. Specifically, 64% of non-rural students—from urban or suburban areas—attend college compared to 59% of rural students.

Gender Gap: Female students are more likely to attend college than male students, continuing a five year enrollment trend. Of 2017 high school graduates, 69% of female students pursued higher education compared to 57% of male students.


While slightly fewer students are college bound, more are college ready.

Remediation: Among 2017 high school graduates, 88% of students did not need remediation in college, representing an increase of one percentage point in one year and 16 percentage points in five years. Of those needing remediation, most need it in math.

Persistence: Three-fourths (75%) of all Hoosier college students attending two-year and four-year Indiana public institutions persist to their second year of college, continuing a five year trend.

Completed All Coursework Attempted: Over half (54%) of all Hoosier students complete all coursework attempted during their first year.

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