The Graduation/Dropout Rate report shows the percent and count of public high school students who, after beginning ninth grade four, five, or six years ago, graduated or dropped out of school. Graduation trends are available starting from the 2006-07 school year.
Students are placed into a cohort year when they are first identified as ninth graders. Students who transfer into the Michigan public education system after ninth grade are placed into the appropriate cohort based on the grade in which the initial district places them. This method tracks individual students who stay in school for up to six years to earn a diploma and helps districts account for students who are retained in a grade, who drop out and return later, or who transfer in/out of a district or the public school system.
Example: Students in the 2023 cohort were ninth graders in the 2019-20 school year. Their on-time expected graduation was four years later (2023). Students in this cohort who graduated in 2023 were counted in the four-year graduation rate; those who did not graduate in 2023 could be counted as dropouts or off-track continuing. Five- and six-year rates are calculated the same way, counting those who graduated with a regular high school diploma within five and six years, respectively.
Exception: Students participating in an early middle college program have five years to complete high school with a regular diploma and an associate degree, 60 transferable college credits, or other advanced certificate, to be considered “On-Track Graduated.” EMC students who complete only a high school diploma in five years will be considered “Off-Track Graduated.”
Four-year graduation rates are an important school accountability measure adopted by the state and aligned with the National Governors Association Graduation Counts Compact.
This report is updated annually every February/March. Historical reports are located in the Data Files section of MI School Data. See the Recently Posted Reports page for when the report was last updated.
- Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, students are included in building-, district- and state-level calculations regardless of length of enrollment. This change was required by the US Department of Education pursuant to the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Prior to 2022-23, students were only included in building rates after they were reported in a building as continuing for at least two count days, based on fall and spring counts. Students were only included in district rates after they were reported in a district as continuing for at least one count day, based on fall and spring counts. State rates have never considered the length of enrollment.
This change is not retroactive. Previously published rates will remain the same.
- As of the 2020-21 school year, High School Equivalency exam results from the state workforce agency are incorporated into graduation and dropout rate processing. That is, students with a “Dropout” or “Missing Expected Record” cohort status will update to “Other Completer” if a HSE certificate from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s system is matched to the student.
- Cross-tabulated subgroup data were added to this report beginning with school year 2017-18. Early Middle College, foster care and military connected subgroups were also added this year.
Use the Location and Report Settings to review graduation and dropout rates by different categories such as school year and rate year (4-year, 5-year or 6-year rates). Data can also be filtered by categories such as race/ethnicity, gender, economically disadvantaged, English learners, homeless, migrant, foster care, Early Middle College, military connected and students with disabilities.
Crosstab comparisons are also available for some categories. (See Location and Comparison Options, below.)
Data view options include:
- Snapshot (a graph and table of the selected data)
- Trend (a graph and table showing changes over time)
- Entity Breakdown (a table shows the data for the selected entity and related entities; if you’ve selected a particular district, the Entity Breakdown would show data for that district, ISD and individual buildings within the district)
See the MI School Data Quick Start Guide for the basics of navigating the site and customizing a report.
These options can be customized in the Location and Report Settings.
Locations Setting options: Statewide, ISD, District and School
Crosstab comparison options include:
- Economically Disadvantaged crossed with:
- All Students
- English Learners
- English Learner crossed with:
- All Students
- Race/Ethnicity crossed with:
- All Students
- Students With Disabilities crossed with:
- Economically Disadvantaged
- English Learners
- Students Without Disabilities crossed with:
- Economically Disadvantaged
- English Learners
Users with secure access who are logged in have an additional data view option: Student Breakdown. This view provides a list of individual students with name, unique identification code, graduation status, and demographic information. The list can be sorted and filtered by any of these columns.
Only logged-in users can see individual-level data, and only for the entities for which they have been specifically authorized.
CEPI collected the data used to compile this report. The databases used include:
- The Michigan Student Data System to locate the student’s high school building, district, and intermediate school district, as well as grade (used to calculate the expected high school graduation year), exit status, demographics, and subgroup information.
- The Graduation and Dropout Application using audit findings submitted by ISD auditors during the exit status audit period to update a student’s graduation status.
For more details on the data definitions and how the data are collected, please refer to the documentation on CEPI’s Michigan Cohort Graduation and Dropout Reports web page.
The Grad/Dropout Rate report contains data collected from each public school district, including public school academies (charter schools).
Each student is assigned to a graduation cohort the first time they are reported as a ninth grader, or, if a transfer student, immediately upon being reported as enrolled in a high school grade.
Students are included in building-, district- and state-level calculations regardless of length of enrollment.
Students who transferred out of state, to a private school, or who began home schooling aren’t included in the data. Buildings that exclusively serve court-placed students as defined by Title I, Part D have a building-level graduation/dropout rate but are not included in the district rate.
Some districts may have “N/A” for both the graduation and the dropout rate. These districts do not graduate students, so they do not have graduation or dropout counts. They’ve been included in the report to ensure records for graduating buildings within the non-graduating district are included.
If you have questions not addressed here or in the linked resources, please contact CEPI customer support at email@example.com.
To protect the privacy of individual students, CEPI uses data suppression rules whenever report settings would yield fewer than 10 students in a given group. Secure users can log in to view unsuppressed data for their authorized location.
See the glossary for additional terms and acronyms used on MI School Data.
4-year rate year: Total number of students who completed high school with a regular diploma in four years or less; or if enrolled in an early/middle college, completed high school with a regular diploma AND an associate degree or other advanced certificate in five years or less.
5-year rate year: Total number of students who completed high school with a regular diploma in five years or less; or if enrolled in an early/middle college, completed high school with a regular diploma AND an associate degree or other advanced certificate in six years or less.
6-year rate year: Total number of students who completed high school with a regular diploma in six years or less.
Cohort Graduation Year: The year in which a cohort group would be expected to graduate high school (four years after enrolling in ninth grade).
Dropout Rate: The percentage, calculated as Dropouts divided by the Cohort, of the total number of students who left high school permanently at any time during the 4-, 5- or 6-year period (depending on which rate year is being reviewed), or whose whereabouts are unknown.
Dropouts: Total number of students who left high school permanently at any time during the 4-, 5- or 6-year period (depending on which rate year is being reviewed) or whose whereabouts are unknown (Missing Expected Record - MER).
Early Middle College: Students who participated in an early middle college program and were reported with participation code “3500” in MSDS. This group has five years to complete high school with a regular diploma and an associate degree, 60 transferrable college credits, or other advanced certificate, to be considered “On Track Graduated.” The four-year rates setting in the Graduation/Dropout report on MI School Data reflects the outcome of this subgroup after five years in the program. For the calculation of four-year graduation rates, students in the EMC adjusted cohort year (their fifth year of high school) who only complete the high school diploma portion of their EMC program will be considered “Off-Track Continuing,” but will be included in future five-year and six-year rates as “Off-Track Graduated.”
Graduation Rate: The percentage, calculated as Graduated divided by the Cohort, of the total number of students who completed high school with a regular diploma in 4, 5 or 6 years (depending on which rate year is being reviewed) or less.
Off-Track Continuing: Total number of students who did not complete high school in 4, 5 or 6 years (depending on which rate year is being reviewed) and are still continuing in school.
Other Completer (GED, HSE, etc.): Total number of students who earned a GED (including high school equivalency diploma) or other certificate or reached special education maximum age.
Total Cohort: The total number of students who were enrolled as first-time ninth graders in a given year, adjusted for transfers in and transfers out.
Total Graduated: Total number of students who completed high school with a regular diploma during the 4-, 5-, or 6-year period (depending on which rate year is displayed in the report).
Graduation Rate = Total Graduated / Total Cohort
Dropout = Dropouts / Total Cohort
Find and select locations to view reports: