This report describes the college outcomes of three cohorts of 12th grade students in the Houston Independent School District, prior to the implementation of the district’s college advising program.

Significant racial and ethnic disparities in postsecondary enrollment and completion were found, with Hispanics, in particular, exhibiting low rates of attainment. When Hispanic students do enroll, compared to white, black, and Asian students, they disproportionately attend community colleges or technical/vocational schools and earn sub-baccalaureate credentials.

While academic performance is a powerful predictor of college enrollment and completion, earning college-level credits appears to be a particularly important path to postsecondary attainment. High school graduates who earn Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or academic dual enrollment credits in the 12th grade are more likely to attend college and complete a degree than students who earn none.

Finally, an analysis of the pathway from high school to college reveals that attending college immediately after high school, specifically four year institutions, is associated with higher rates of certificate and degree attainment.

Issues