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Michigan Graduation Rate Follows National Trend

Dropout Rate Remains Stable; More Students Continuing

Lansing – Like many states across the county that have seen dips in their high school graduation rates, Michigan’s statewide graduation rate declined in 2020-21, according to data released today by the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information. This is the first time the statewide rate has decreased since 2015-16.

The 2020-21 school 4-year graduation rate decreased to 80.47%, a 1.6 percentage point decrease from 2019-20. The dropout rate fell to 7.65%, a 0.12 percentage point decrease from the 2019-20.

“While the data show that a smaller percentage of high school students graduated last school year, they also show that fewer students dropped out,” said CEPI Executive Director Tom Howell. “During the second year of the pandemic, students in the class of 2021 who fell behind are choosing to remain in school, working toward completion.”

In fact, 10.52% of students expected to graduate in 2021 were “off-track continuing,” meaning they were still enrolled in high school and working toward a diploma, compared to 8.87% in 2020.

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







4-Year Graduation Rate






4-Year Dropout Rate






“As in many different ways and areas, the pandemic has had an adverse impact on four-year graduation rates for most but not all groups of students and especially so for certain groups of students: economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, Black and Native American students, and homeless students,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “Graduation rates had increased in eight of the last nine years. While we remain considerably higher at 80.5 percent than we were a decade ago at 74.3 percent in our four-year graduation rate, we have a particular need to make sure that graduation delayed is not graduation denied and that our students graduate and do so with the requisite knowledge and skills to continue in some form of postsecondary education.”

CEPI also reports graduation rates for students who remain in high school five and six years. The 5-year rate increased .14 percentage points to 84.58% and the 6-year rate grew to 85.09% percent, a .61 percentage point increase.

Graduation and dropout rates can be found on CEPI’s MI School Data website ( Under the site’s K-12 Grade Students section, visitors can select a school or district or compare one district to another.

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