College Eligibility (see data for this topic)
- Websites with Related Information
- Alliance for Excellent Education
- American Youth Policy Forum
- Blueprint for College Readiness, Education Commission of the States
- Education Commission of the States
- Education Insights Center, California State University, Sacramento
- Education Trust–West
- Going to College: A Resource for Teens with Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Jobs for the Future
- Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis
- Key Reports and Research
- 2018 California Children's Report Card, Children Now
- Beyond the GED: Promising Models for Moving High School Dropouts to College, 2014, MDRC, Zachry Rutschow, E., & Crary-Ross, S.
- California's Future: K-12 Education, 2019, Public Policy Institute of California, Hill, L., et al.
- Catching Up to College and Career Readiness: The Challenge Is Greater for At-Risk Students, 2014, ACT Research and Policy, Dougherty, C.
- College Readiness in California: A Look at Rigorous High School Course-Taking, 2016, Public Policy Institute of California, Gao, N.
- Divided We Fail: Improving Completion and Closing Racial Gaps in California’s Community Colleges, 2010, Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy, Moore, C., & Shulock, N.
- Early College, Early Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study, 2013, American Institutes for Research, Berger, A., et al.
- Free Fall: Educational Opportunities in 2011, 2011, UCLA IDEA & UC/ACCORD, Rogers, J., et al.
- High School Course-Taking Patterns for English Language Learners: A Case Study From California, 2009, American Institutes for Research, National High School Center, Finkelstein, N, et al.
- Restructuring and Reculturing Schools to Provide Students with Multiple Pathways to College and Career, UCLA IDEA, Mehan, H.
- The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2017, ACT
- Time for Equity Resource Series, 2017, Brown University, Annenberg Institute for School Reform
- Transitions from High School to College, 2013, The Future of Children, Venezia, A., & Jaeger, L.
- County/Regional Reports
- 2017 Kern County Report Card, Kern County Network for Children
- 2018-19 California County Scorecard of Children's Well-Being, Children Now
- A Portrait of Los Angeles County: Los Angeles County Human Development Report 2017-2018, Measure of America, Burd-Sharps, S., & Lewis, K.
- A Portrait of Sonoma County: Sonoma County Human Development Report 2014, Measure of America, Burd-Sharps, S., & Lewis, K.
- Collaborating for Equity: A Scan of the Los Angeles Educational Ecosystem, 2015, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Potochnik, T., & Romans, A. N.
- College Prep for All: Will San Diego Students Meet Challenging New Graduation Requirements?, 2016, Public Policy Institute of California, Betts, J. R., et al.
- Orange County Community Indicators Report, Orange County Community Indicators Project
- Santa Clara County Children's Agenda: 2018 Data Book, Planned Parenthood & Kids in Common
- Santa Monica Youth Wellbeing Report Card, Santa Monica Cradle to Career
- The 24th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County, 2018, Orange County Children's Partnership
- More Data Sources For College Eligibility
- Child Trends Databank: Educational Attainment
- DataQuest, California Dept. of Education
- Education Data Partnership (Ed-Data), California Dept. of Education, et al.
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), National Center for Educational Statistics
- KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation
- Local Control Funding Formula Reports, California Dept. of Education
- National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) Information Center
Learn More About This Topic
- Why This Topic Is Important
Higher educational attainment generally leads to more employment opportunities, higher earning potential, and even better health (1). All students should have access to the resources needed for college preparation given that educational attainment is a strong predictor of future well being. Resource availability impacts college eligibility rates, including the courses necessary for University of California (UC) and/or California State University (CSU) entrance, school counselors, and qualified teachers (2). Low-income students and students of color often have less access to these resources (2).Although college completion is correlated with better career potential, many young people find personal and financial fulfillment through other means, including military service, vocational training, and work.
For more information about college eligibility, see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section.
Sources for this narrative:
1. Child Trends Databank. (2014). Educational attainment. Retrieved from: http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=educational-attainment
2. Rogers, J., et al. (2011). Free fall: Educational opportunities in 2011. UCLA IDEA & UC/ACCORD. Retrieved from: http://idea.gseis.ucla.edu/educational-opportunity-report/california-state-report
- Policy Implications
To graduate from high school eligible for college, young people need access to high quality early learning and continued educational support beginning in infancy (1). Early learning opportunities and high quality K-8 education are important foundations to accessing rigorous college preparatory courses taught by qualified teachers and college preparation counseling in high school (1, 2, 3). To ensure K-12 students are career and college ready, California has adopted the Common Core State Standards for English and math, joining most other states in the United States (4).
Students who face the greatest barriers to college readiness are low-income students, students of color, foster care students, English Learners, undocumented students (now eligible for financial aid in California), and students whose parents did not go to college (2, 5, 6, 7). School districts, counties, states, and the federal government can pursue policies that target early interventions and put youth onto the pathway towards college eligibility (1, 2, 5, 6).
Policies that could improve college readiness include:
For more policy ideas and research on this topic, see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section. Also see Policy Implications under the following topics on kidsdata.org: Reading Proficiency, Math Proficiency, and High School Graduation.
- Aligning standards, curricula, and assessments from birth through college (1)
- Linking early learning data systems to K-12 data systems (1)
- Applying recent research findings on key topics, including early literacy and mathematics, to state and district policies and practices (1)
- Ensuring access to college preparatory courses for all students, dual enrollment programs, and credit recovery options (8)
- Responding to struggling students with comprehensive support programs that integrate academic, social, and emotional support while tracking outcomes (2, 3, 9)
- Increasing families’ and students’ financial awareness and assisting students in completing financial aid applications (10)
Sources for this narrative:
1. National Governors Association. (2012). Governor’s role in aligning early education and K-12 reforms: Challenges, opportunities, and benefits for children. Retrieved from: http://www.nga.org/cms/home/nga-center-for-best-practices/center-publications/page-edu-publications/col2-content/main-content-list/governors-role-in-aligning-early.html
2. Ross, T., et al. (2012). Higher education: Gaps in access and persistence study (NCES Report No. 2012-046). National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012046/index.asp
3. Pathways to College Network. (n.d.). Social support: An essential ingredient to success. Institute for Higher Education Policy. Retrieved from: http://pathwaylibrary.org/pdf/support.pdf
4. Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2016). Standards in your state. Retrieved from: http://www.corestandards.org/standards-in-your-state
5. Barrat, V. X., & Berliner, B. (2013). The invisible achievement gap: Education outcomes of students in foster care in California’s public schools. WestEd. Retrieved from: http://www.wested.org/resources/the-invisible-achievement-gap-education-outcomes-of-students-in-foster-care-in-californias-public-schools-part-1
6. Garvey, J., & Grobe, T. (2011). From GED to college degree: Creating pathways to postsecondary success for high school dropouts. Jobs for the Future. Retrieved from: http://www.jff.org/publications/ged-college-degree
7. California Student Aid Commission. (n.d.). California Dream Act. Retrieved from: http://www.csac.ca.gov/dream_act.asp
8. College and Career Readiness and Success Center. (2013). Understanding accelerated learning across secondary and postsecondary education. American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from: http://www.ccrscenter.org/products-resources/understanding-accelerated-learning-across-secondary-and-postsecondary-education
9. Berger, A., et al. (2013). Early college, early success: Early College High School Initiative impact study. American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from: http://www.air.org/resource/early-college-early-success-early-college-high-school-initiative-impact-study-2013
10. Tierney, W. G., et al. (2009). Helping students navigate the path to college: What high schools can do (NCEE Report No. 2009-4066). Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved from: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/practiceguide.aspx?sid=11
- How Children Are Faring
In 2015, 43% of California’s public high school graduates had completed the courses required for University of California and/or California State University entrance, with a grade of “C” or better. This figure fluctuated between 1998 and 2008 at around 35%, but it has risen steadily since then. Among counties with data in 2015, more than half of high school graduates completed these requirements in nine counties; however, the percentage was below 25% in ten counties.
Inequities persist in college eligibility among racial/ethnic groups. In 2015, 72% of Asian American high school graduates and 50% of white high school graduates completed the course requirements for University of California and/or California State University entrance, compared to about one-third of Hispanic/Latino (35%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (35%), African American/black (33%), and American Indian/Alaska Native graduates (30%).
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