Our Goal

To increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by the Class of 2020 and put millions more young people on the path to adult success.

What we do

The GradNation campaign brings focus and energy, research and best practices, national attention and a broad coalition to the graduation challenge. For those working to increase high school graduation rates, GradNation provides data, insight and analysis; information about effective and promising practicies; plus opportunities to connect and learn from one another.

Who we are

Four organizations - America's Promise Alliance, the Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University - lead the campaign, and hundreds more play critical roles nationally, in states and in communities.

Campaign Conveners

America's Promise Alliance
Everyone Graduates Center
Civic Enterprises
Alliance for Excellent Education

82.3%

Today's national record-setting, on-time high school graduation rate

 

How it all started

For nearly 30 years, the nation's graduation rate was stuck at just over 70 percent.

“The Silent Epidemic,” a report issued by Civic Enterprises in 2006, put the nation’s “high school dropout epidemic” on the map, and the GradNation campaign was launched in 2010. Those who weren’t graduating were disproportionately young people from low-income families, students of color, English-language learners and students with disabilities.

Repeated calls to increase graduation rates led to little movement, and some came to believe that low graduation rates were inexorable and inevitable.

Dropout Nation Time Magazine
 

Why graduation

Without diplomas, young people are blocked from higher education, jobs that pay well and opportunities for a better life. They enter a vicious cycle of bad outcomes, including poor health, a higher likelihood of incarceration, and an increased chance that their children won’t graduate either. 

In today’s economy, a high school diploma doesn’t guarantee success, but the lack of a diploma consigns a young person to almost certain failure. When young people do graduate, they have a shot at success for themselves and their families. It’s a boost for their communities and the nation, too. 

According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, meeting the GradNation goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate would likely create more than 65,000 new jobs and boost gross domestic product by $11.5 billion annually. And that’s for just one high school class.

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Graduation rates have been steadily climbing to a historic high of 82.3 percent for the class of 2014. As a result of this increase, nearly 2 million additional students have graduated from high school over the past decade. 

This success story has been written at kitchen tables, in schools and in communities where students, families, educators and leaders of nonprofits, churches and businesses did the hard work to produce better results.

Join the Alliance

 

Benefit from the experience of other organizations and communities and contribute your insights. We can’t do it without you!

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR NATIONAL ALLIANCE

100

Summits to be held by the end of 2016

7

"Building a Grad Nation" reports released

17,444

Tweets including the #GradNation hashtag since April 2015

400+

Members of the America's Promise Alliance

~2,000,000

Additional graduates over the past 10 years

304,252

Additional graduates needed to reach the 90% goal

Critical work ahead

This is hardly a spike-the-football moment. The hardest work lies ahead. 

Each year, nearly 500,000 young people still leave high school without graduating. In fact, despite our gains, we’re slightly behind the pace needed to reach a 90 percent graduation rate for the class of 2020 and we still see sobering graduation gaps for key groups of students. 

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Media Mentions

Which States are Best for Underserved Students

Students of color, low-income students and those with disabilities graduate from high school at a significantly lower rate than their white and wealthier peers – and that's despite a nearly decade-long upward trend in graduation rates culminating in a record high in 2014.

Special Education Graduation Disparities Highlighted in New Report

The nation's overall graduation rate may have reached a new high of 82 percent, but many states are still doing a dismal job in getting students with disabilities across the high school finish line on time with a standard diploma.

Report: Achievement Gap Persists Among Minority, Low-income and Students with Disabilities

For the first time in the past four years, the United States is off track in meeting its 90 percent high school graduation goal by 2020, according to new data released Thursday by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Everyone Graduates Center.

  • Which States are Best for Underserved Students

    Students of color, low-income students and those with disabilities graduate from high school at a significantly lower rate than their white and wealthier peers – and that's despite a nearly decade-long upward trend in graduation rates culminating in a record high in 2014.

  • Special Education Graduation Disparities Highlighted in New Report

    The nation's overall graduation rate may have reached a new high of 82 percent, but many states are still doing a dismal job in getting students with disabilities across the high school finish line on time with a standard diploma.

  • Report: Achievement Gap Persists Among Minority, Low-income and Students with Disabilities

    For the first time in the past four years, the United States is off track in meeting its 90 percent high school graduation goal by 2020, according to new data released Thursday by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Everyone Graduates Center.