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College-going rate slightly increases in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Less than 48 percent of the public high school graduates in the Class of 2023 in West Virginia were college students during the past year.

The findings were presented during a Friday meeting of the state Higher Education Policy Commission.

Zornista Georgieva

HEPC Director of Research and Analysis Zornista Georgieva the college-going rate for 2023 was 47.4 percent which is almost 1 percentage point higher compared to the 2022 graduating class.

“More than 7,900 high school graduate went to some form of post-secondary education both in-state and out-of-state,” she told the commission

MORE  See college-going rate dashboard here

According to the data, 36 out of the state’s 55 counties increased their college going rates in 2023.

Female students enrolled in post-secondary education at higher rates than male students. More low socioeconomic students also enrolled in college.

About 6.2 percent of students attended an out-of-state institution which a slight increase from 6.1 percent in 2022. About 41.2 percent remain in-state, which is slightly higher than last year at 40.2 percent.

Georgieva said the numbers show that high school seniors are more knowledgeable of higher education options because of school counselors, teachers and other outreach efforts from colleges and universities.

“I think this is a good trend that we’re looking at. I think it really speaks to the work that our high school counselors and high school staff are doing along with our institutions and our outreach folks,” she said.

Being able to increase the current rate by two or three students per high school will make a huge difference, Georgieva said.

“Two or three students may not look like a big number, but if we have 120 high schools across the state and two more students in each high school continue to further their education, that’s 240 more students going to college,” she said.

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