Many HISD students aren’t making it to college, or getting a degree

Less than half of Houston ISD seniors started classes in a community college, vocational school or four-year university the fall after they were expected to graduate, a new study from Rice University’s higher education research consortium found.

The study, by postdoctoral fellow Brian Holzman, found that starting college immediately after high school was associated with higher rates of certificate, diploma and degree completion. Less than a third of HISD students earned any kind of degree or certificate within six years of high school, the report found.

Holzman tracked HISD high school students who started their senior years in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He examined disparities in college enrollment and completion trends for the report. He notes that after his last cohort left high school, HISD hired college success advisers to help high school seniors with college applications and financial aid forms.

Among his findings:

  • For every 100 HISD high-school seniors, the report found, 19 completed a bachelor’s degree six years after high school.
  • Hispanic students disproportionately attended community colleges or technical and vocational schools.
  • About two-thirds of Hispanic students did not enroll in college in the fall after expected high-school graduation. That figure was 26 percent for white students.
  • About 85 percent of students who made it to college stayed enrolled one year after they matriculated.