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News: 2019 Roadmap Report

New Report: Modest increase in state's educational attainment, critical populations still underserved in postsecondary 

February 2, 2020

The 2019 update to the Roadmap Report shows modest Increases in the rates of both high school and postsecondary educational attainment. 

  • Washington’s high school attainment rate is just under 91 percent, up one percentage point since 2013.  
  • Our postsecondary educational attainment rate is 57 percent, up five percentage points since 2013. 

However, critical populations are still underserved and underrepresented in high school attainment and postsecondary enrollment. 

  • It is critical to continue focusing on policies and programs that can improve equity and close opportunity gaps.

Progress on Strategic Priorities

Washington ranks near the bottom of all states for the percentage of high school seniors who complete a FAFSA. Washington offers robust state financial aid. Filling out a financial aid application (FAFSA or WASFA) is the key to accessing those funds for an affordable education. The benefits of increasing FAFSA filings are clear: seniors who complete a FAFSA are 84 percent more likely to continue their education directly after high school. 

Washington's enrollment lags behind the national average. And enrollment is declining nationwide. In Washington, nearly five in ten graduating seniors delay or forgo enrollment—a reality that places the state 46th in the country. 

Food and housing insecurity, childcare, and access to mental health care are primary concerns. Most students are in or near poverty or have lower incomes. Over a third of all college students are over the age of 25. And over a quarter of undergraduate students are parents. Many of those are single parents.  

Less than half of Washington high school graduates who enroll in college complete their credential within eight years. While our completion rates are above the national average, students of color and those from low-income families—students who must overcome disadvantages throughout the education pipeline—are less likely to succeed.  Students of color who make it through high school to enroll in college complete at a rate 16 percentage points below the average.  

About the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC)

The Washington Student Achievement Council is committed to increasing educational opportunities and attainment in Washington.