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College Bound Rate Increases

Posted on Monday, September 11, 2023 at 5:30 pm


The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) announced an increase in the college going rate for the class of 2022. Recent data showcases a one and a half percentage point increase over the class of 2021, for a statewide college-going rate of 54.3 percent. This represents the largest statewide increase since the implementation of Tennessee Promise in 2015.
The College Going and the Class of 2022: Continuing Momentum report, developed by THEC, provides valuable insights into the trends and progress of college enrollment among high school graduates in Tennessee. College-going rate indicates the portion of public high school graduates who seamlessly enroll (i.e., immediately after high school) in postsecondary education.
Key highlights from the Class of 2022 college-going rate report include:
1. Overall College-Going Rate: The college-going rate for the Class of 2022 is 54.3 percent, representing a one and a half percentage point increase compared to the previous year.
2. Equity and Access: College going for the class of 2022 is up across all race and gender pairs. Black or African American students of both genders, Hispanic/Latino females, and White males saw growth in college-going rates above the statewide growth of one and a half percentage points.
3. Dual Enrollment Impact: Dual enrollment programs play a crucial role in fostering college readiness among Tennessee’s high school students. Students who were found to have participated in the Dual Enrollment Grant at any point in their high school career were found to have consistently higher college-going rates than their full high school graduating cohort.
4. Postsecondary Institution Enrollment: The report examines the distribution of college enrollment across Tennessee’s postsecondary institutions. The proportion of the class of 2022 enrolling at Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and at the Locally Governed Institutions (LGIs) increased compared to the previous class.
Regarding the new report, Dr. Robert M. Smith, Interim Executive Director of THEC, stated, “We are thrilled to report an increase in the college-going rate for the Class of 2022. This achievement reflects the collective efforts of our state’s students, families, educators, and policymakers. By fostering a college-going culture and ensuring equitable access to higher education, we are empowering Tennessee’s future workforce and strengthening our communities.”
The release of the college-going rate report reaffirms THEC’s commitment to advancing educational attainment in Tennessee. The data not only highlights the progress made but also serves as a valuable tool for policymakers and educational institutions to identify areas for further improvement and enhance strategic planning.

For more information on THEC and to access the full Class of 2022 college-going rate report, please visit