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Michigan's Statewide Graduation Rate Hits 80 Percent Graduation rate increases 0.53 percent, dropout rate declines


Date: February 21, 2018
Contact: Lauren Leeds, 517-284-4144

Lansing – More than 80 percent of Michigan’s high school students graduated last year, according to data released today by the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI).

The 2016-17 school year graduation rate increased slightly to 80.18 percent, up 0.53 percent from 79.65 percent in 2015-16. The dropout rate fell slightly to 8.65 percent for the 2016-17 school year, down .26 percent from the 2015-16 rate of 8.91 percent.

Five of the 10 school districts with the most high school students in the cohort class of 2017 (1,200 to 3,230 students) improved their graduation rates. In order of class size, their rates are:

  • Detroit Public Schools Community District: 78.22 percent;
  • Utica Community Schools: 93 percent;
  • Plymouth-Canton Community Schools: 89.47 percent;
  • Dearborn City School District: 94.69 percent;
  • Ann Arbor Public Schools: 89.66 percent;
  • Chippewa Valley Schools: 92.25 percent;
  • Rochester Community School District: 96.05 percent;
  • Warren Consolidated Schools: 84.51 percent;
  • Walled Lake Consolidated Schools: 93.17 percent; and
  • Livonia Public School District: 92.28 percent.

Below is the statewide four-year trend for on-time, four-year graduation and dropout rates:






4-Year Graduation Rate





4-Year Dropout Rate





“This is the first time the statewide four-year graduation rate has surpassed 80 percent since we started calculating rates by cohorts eleven years ago,” said CEPI Director Tom Howell. “This increase is in line with how the statewide graduation rate has been trending gradually upward.”

CEPI calculates graduation rates by tracking individual student enrollment records from the time they first enroll as ninth-graders. This method, along with concerted efforts by CEPI, school administrators and intermediate school district auditors to account for every student, results in an accurate measure of a school’s success in preparing students for college and careers.

Four-year “on-time” graduation rates are a school accountability measure adopted by the state, and the methodology for calculating rates is aligned with the National Governors Association Graduation Counts Compact.

CEPI also reports graduation rates for students who remain in high school five and six years. Both the 5-year and 6-year graduation rates are relatively unchanged from 2015-16 at 82.76 percent and 83.56 percent respectively.

“An 80 percent statewide graduation rate is a new watermark for our schools. They’ve worked hard to steadily improve,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “This is another important step in helping Michigan become a Top 10 education state in 10 years. We aren’t there yet, so we need to keep working and moving forward.”

Graduation and dropout rates can be found on CEPI’s MI School Data website ( Under the site’s K-12th Grade Student Counts section, visitors can select a school or district or compare one district to another. User-selected settings permit exploring 4-year, 5-year, and 6-year graduation rates by gender, race or ethnicity, or by demographic categories such as economically disadvantaged, English language learners, homeless, migrant, and students with disabilities.

CEPI is a division of the State Budget Office. It facilitates the collection, management and reporting of public education data required by state and federal law. MI School Data is Michigan's official education data portal to help citizens, educators and policymakers make informed decisions that can lead to improved success for our students.