Graduation Rate Methodology and Definitions

Posted: Wed, 12/07/2011 - 4:13pm Updated: Tue, 12/17/2013 - 1:43pm

Graduation Rate Glossary

"Cohort" refers to a class of students who attend the same high school and are first considered to have entered grade 9 in the same year.

"Enrollment" means the total number of students within a grade that is reported to the department annually on October 1 or a date specified by the department.

"Expected graduation year" means the reporting year beginning three (3) years after the reporting year in which a student is first considered by a school corporation to have entered Grade 9.

"Graduation" means the successful completion by a student of a sufficient number of academic credits, or the equivalent of academic credits; and the graduation examination or waiver process required under IC 20-32-3 through IC 20-32-6, resulting in the awarding of a high school diploma as defined in 511 IAC 6-7. The term does not include the granting of a general educational development diploma under IC 20-20-6. The term does not include the granting of a certificate of completion under 511 IAC 7-43.

"Graduation rate" means the percentage of students within a cohort who graduate during their expected graduation year.

"Reporting year" refers to the period beginning October 1 of a year and ending September 30 of the following year.

Calculation of Four-Year Graduation Rate

The graduation rate for a cohort in a high school is the percentage determined under STEP FIVE of the following formula:

STEP ONE: Determine the grade 9 enrollment at the beginning of the reporting year three (3) years before the reporting year for which the graduation rate is being determined.

STEP TWO: Add the number determined under STEP ONE and the number of students who have enrolled in the high school after the date on which the number determined under STEP ONE was determined; and have the same expected graduation year as the cohort.

STEP THREE: Subtract from the sum determined under STEP TWO the number of students who have left the cohort for any of the following reasons:

  • Transfer to a public or nonpublic school;
  • Removal by the student's parents under IC 20-33-2-28 to provide instruction equivalent to that given in the public schools;
  • Withdrawal because of a long-term medical condition or death;
  • Detention by a law enforcement agency or the department of correction;
  • Placement by a court order or the division of family and children;
  • Enrollment in a virtual school; or
  • Leaving school, if the student attended school in Indiana for less than one (1) school year and the location of the student cannot be determined. Leaving school, if the location of the student cannot be determined and the student has been reported to the Indiana clearinghouse for information on missing children and missing endangered adults. Withdrawing from school before graduation, if the student is a high ability student (as defined in IC 20-36-1-3) who is a full-time student at an accredited institution of higher education during the semester in which the cohort graduates.

STEP FOUR: Determine the total number of students who have graduated during the current reporting year or a previous reporting year.

STEP FIVE: Divide the number determined under STEP FOUR by the remainder determined under STEP THREE.

Calculation of Five-Year, Six year, and Subsequent Year Graduation Rate

The graduation rate for a fifth or subsequent year is calculated by adding the number of students in the cohort who graduated during the current reporting year to the number who graduated in four years or less (STEP Four above) and dividing that number by the number of students in the cohort at the end of four years (STEP THREE above).

Estimated graduation rate

For each high school, the Department of Education shall calculate an estimated graduation rate that is determined by the total number of graduates for the reporting year divided by the total number of students enrolled in grade 9 at the school three (3) years before the reporting year. For any school where the difference between the estimated graduation rate and the number determined under STEP FIVE above is more than five percent (5%), the Department shall request the data used in determining that the missing students are classified under one (1) or more of reasons in STEP THREE above.

Corrected graduation rate

For any school that cannot provide written proof supporting the school's determination to include a student under any one (1) of reasons in STEP THREE above, the Department shall require the publication of the corrected graduation rate in the next school year's Annual Performance Report required under IC 20-20-8-3.

Graduation Rate FAQ