College-going rate for Hamilton County high school graduates is falling

The college-going rate of Hamilton County Schools seniors fell more than 11% in the past five years.

The number of Hamilton County public school seniors who opted to go to college or technical school immediately after graduation dropped from 65.9% in 2017 to 54.7% in 2021.

That follows similar statewide and national trends, with Tennessee's college-going rate falling from 63.8% in 2017 to 52.8% last year.

The data, released in a report May 23 by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, came with a call to action.

"In the current economic reality, a high school diploma is not enough for long-term success," the commission's executive director, Emily House, said in a news release.