The hard work of educators, families, businesses, communities and students is paying off in higher graduation rates for Hispanic students. But there is so much more to be done. According to the Pew Research Center (Oct 2014), “Although Hispanics still have the highest dropout rate among all major racial and ethnic groups, it reached a record-low in 2013. Not only are fewer dropping out of high school, but more are finishing high school and attending college.” See

Why does a diploma matter?

America’s Promise Alliance notes that graduation rates are uneven for students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, disabilities, and English proficiencies. These “graduation gaps” imperil progress.

A DIPLOMA MATTERS to individuals, families, communities, and society. High school graduates are:

  • more likely to be employed
  • more likely make higher taxable income
  • more likely to aid in job generation
  • more likely to be engaged in their communities
  • more likely to vote and volunteer
  • more likely to have better health and longer life expectancy
  • less likely to engage in criminal behavior or require social services.

Additional research resources at and


Northern Virginia

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows Virginia’s high school dropout rates decreasing in recent years, falling from 3% in 2003 to 1.9% in 2012 — the 5th lowest dropout rate in the country. Virginia’s 2012 rate was also lower than the national average of 3.3 percent and the rates of its peer states: Maryland (3.8%), Tennessee (3.7%), and North Carolina (3.1%).

Dropout rates for 2014 were lower than 2013 for nearly all of Virginia’s eight regions, with the statewide average decreasing from 5.9 percent to 5.4 percent. The Hampton Roads (4.7%), Valley (5.0%), and Northern (5.0%) regions had dropout rates below the statewide average in 2014; the remaining regions had rates above the statewide average. Only the Valley region saw a slight increase (0.6%) in its high school dropout rate for the 2013-14 school year. U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.