Began 8th grade in 2008

343,471 students

Graduated from high school

270,697 (78.8%)

Enrolled in college

182,352 (53.1%)

Graduated from college

79,661 (23.2%)

Each year, approximately 300,000 students begin eighth grade in a Texas public school. National employment and earnings statistics suggest that these students will have materially better prospects as adults if they finish high school and enroll in and complete a post-secondary certificate or degree program. Using data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency, the Tribune is providing a look into the outcomes of students who started eighth grade in a Texas public school from 1997 to 2008.

Of the 343,471 students in Texas who began 8th grade in 2008, 23.2 percent received a certificate or degree from a Texas college or university within six years of their anticipated high school graduation date. For context, a 13-year-old student who started 8th grade in 1997 is about 38 years old; one who started 8th grade in 2008 is now about 27.

We have broken down these numbers by ethnicity, gender and economic status.

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Ethnicity

Students in 8th grade cohorts who graduated from high school, enrolled in higher education and completed a certificate or degree, broken down by ethnicity.

Outcome of 8th grade class by ethnicity, 2008

Ethnicity Class size Graduated high school Enrolled in college Graduated from college
Black 49,421 37,104 26,329 7,572
Hispanic 158,884 121,972 73,511 28,058
White 122,034 100,316 73,737 38,374
Other 13,132 11,305 8,775 5,657
Total 343,471 270,697 182,352 79,661

Gender

Students in each 8th grade cohort who enrolled in higher education and completed a certificate or degree, broken down by gender.

Outcome of 8th grade class by gender, 2008

Gender Class size Graduated high school Enrolled in college Graduated from college
Female 167,251 135,173 97,061 46,234
Male 176,220 135,524 85,291 33,427
Total 343,471 270,697 182,352 79,661

Economic status

Students in each 8th grade cohort who enrolled in higher education and completed a certificate or degree, broken down by economic status when they entered 8th grade.

Outcome of 8th grade class by economic status, 2008

Economic status Class size Graduated high school Enrolled in college Graduated from college
Disadvantaged 185,664 136,538 79,528 26,149
Not disadvantaged 157,807 134,159 102,824 53,512
Total 343,471 270,697 182,352 79,661