Direct Enrollment

About this Indicator

The direct enrollment rate is defined as the percentage of high school graduates who enroll in a postsecondary institutionwithin 12 months of graduating from high school or receiving a GED diploma. Postponed enrollment may lead to future obstacles to degree completion, such as the decay of academic skills and knowledge as well as the adoption of competing roles and obligations (e.g., work, family). Research has indicated that the odds of obtaining a bachelor’s degree decrease when a student delays postsecondary enrollment after graduating from high school.[1]

Data Source

Enrollment: National Center for Education Statistics IPEDS: Fall Enrollment File.

Public high school graduates: U.S. Department of Education. ED Data Express, ACGR.

Private high school graduates: National Center for Education Statistics. Private School Universe Survey. WICHE. Knocking at the College Door.

Note. Beginning in 2012, the number of graduates from private high schools was estimated as the average of WICHE’s projected number of graduates in the specified academic year and the PSUS’s reported number of graduates in the following academic year. The Private School Universe Survey does not provide data matching the IPEDS direct enrollment data year beyond 2011.


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[1] Bozick, R., & DeLuca, S. (2005). Better late than never? Delayed enrollment in the high school to college transition. Social Forces, 84(1), 527-550.]