The average graduation rate among ranked schools in the 2022 U.S. News Best High Schools rankings was 88.6% for the 2019-2020 academic year. Graduation rates for public schools in the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., ranged from an average of 74% to 94%, according to data reported by 17,857 ranked schools.
This rate represents the proportion of students who started high school in ninth grade and graduated four years later. It is an indicator of how well a school is serving all of its students.
The high schools most successfully getting students to graduation day are not limited to a specific region or state. Even so, some states stand out. Twenty-one states had an average high school graduation rate of at least 90%.
Iowa, Kentucky and Texas boasted the highest graduation rates in the country, with each graduating an average of 94% of its students in 2020. Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Virginia followed closely behind, with average graduation rates of 93%.
At the other end of the spectrum, some states had significantly lower averages. In Arizona, the average high school graduation rate was 74% in the 2019-2020 academic year (though interestingly the state also had more high schools ranked in the top 100 than any other state). In D.C., the average rate was 77% the same year.
It’s worth noting that each state has its own requirements for high school completion. While no state had an average high school graduation rate of 100%, some places had a significant percentage of ranked schools with flawless grad rates. In three states — Nebraska, North Dakota and Texas — more than 20% of ranked schools that submitted graduation data had 100% rates.
Find more information on the top public high schools in the nation, and explore data on graduation rates, test scores for state-mandated exams and college placement exams, student-teacher ratios and more on school profile pages on usnews.com.
See the complete Best High Schools rankings.
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Update 04/26/22: This story has been updated with new information, including statistics from the new U.S. News Best High Schools rankings.