Columnists

Indiana Department of Education announces 2021 graduation rate

• Nearly 40% of Students Graduate with Honors

• Increase in Percent of Students Graduating Without A Graduation Qualifying Exam Waiver

Recently, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) released the 2021 state graduation rates, with data showing 86.69% of students in the Class of 2021 graduating.

“Across our state, our educators, families and community leaders are working to be difference-makers in our students’ lives, preparing them not only for graduation but for the rapidly-changing world that awaits,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Looking ahead into 2022 and beyond, we must continue to work together to ensure our students earn their high school diploma and have access to intentional post-secondary credentials in high school. This mission takes all of us as we strive to make an impact on our students’ lives, now and well into the future.” 

A spreadsheet with statewide-, corporation- and school-level graduation data is available here.

These graduation rates correspond with research that shows that the academic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are substantial. According to research from IDOE and the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, Inc., the academic impact ranges from moderate to significant across schools, academic subjects and demographic groups. In response, IDOE launched several accelerated learning programs, which are still underway and will be joined by additional efforts planned for next year.

This year, nearly 40% of Hoosier students graduated with a Core 40 honors diploma (academic, technical or both) or an International Baccalaureate diploma. Additionally, more than 78% graduated without requiring a waiver from passing the Graduation Qualifying Exam – an increase of nearly two percentage points from 2019.

Due to differences between federal and state accountability equations and standards, IDOE also released 2021 federal graduation rates. In 2021, Indiana’s federal graduation rate was 85.75%.

*Note: Graduation rates in 2020 reflect the State Board of Education’s waiver of the Graduation Qualifying Exam requirement for the 2020 cohort, which could not be administered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this waiver, caution should be exercised when comparing 2019 and 2021 rates to rates in 2020.

**Note: Since the Graduation Qualifying Exam requirement was waived for students graduating in 2020, there is no non-waiver rate for that year.