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Austin ISD Post-Secondary Enrollment Rates Increase for the Class of 2011; Five Percentage-Point Gain in AISD Graduates Enrolling in Colleges and Universities

Austin, TX—Post-secondary enrollment rates for the Austin Independent School District's class of 2011 have increased from 62 to 67 percent, according to the National Student Clearinghouse's recently released results. In post-secondary enrollment, a student has enrolled in an educational institution after graduating from high school. This includes enrollment in two- and four-year- colleges, technical or trades schools that may be private or public institutions.

"Post-secondary enrollment rates are a critical indicator for AISD because they tell us how many of our graduates are enrolling in colleges and universities beyond high school." Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said. "In today's global economy, higher education provides a powerful path to success."

Post-secondary enrollment rates for AISD's high school graduates have risen steadily, from 55 percent in 2002 to 67 percent in 2011. Information for the past 10 years is included in the chart.

During the fall and spring of the 2010-11 school year, AISD’s Department of Research and Evaluation offered interactive seminars for campus leadership teams, which included administrators, school improvement facilitators, counselors and teacher leaders. Team members from the district created plans to improve college and career preparation, and shared them with each of AISD’s high school campuses.

After a dip in post-secondary enrollment rates from 66 percent for the class of 2009 to 62 percent for the class of 2010, district staff members helped students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. With the support of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, high schools also hosted Financial Aid Saturdays where trained volunteers provided help for families completing the FAFSA. The increased assistance resulted in AISD senior FAFSA completion rates increasing from 29 percent in 2010 to 54 percent in 2011.  Eighty-four percent of the class of 2011 graduates who enrolled in a post-secondary institution completed a FAFSA application.  

A full report of post-secondary enrollment for AISD's class of 2011 will be available in September. The report will contain further analysis of post-secondary enrollment by student demographic groups, including race, ethnicity and economic status, and the types of post-secondary institutions in which they enroll.