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Utah sees steady increase in graduation rates

May 24, 2022, 1:25 PM | Updated: 1:34 pm
Students in graduation caps. The Utah graduation rate went up over the past few years....
Utah graduation rates continue to see in increase. Photo: Butch Dill, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Graduation rates increased across the state over the past few years according to the Office of the State Auditor. Data showed that 88% of Utah students graduated in 2021, a 6% gain over the last eight years.

The office released its High School Graduation Rates Dashboard as part of Project KIDS. The project audits and analyzes Utah’s public education system and uses the data to decide how funds are spent. Dashboard data also tracks yearly spending.

“I am pleased to see the improvement in Utah’s graduation rates over the last eight years, however, there are still opportunities for improvement. While we celebrate the achievements of so many students, Utahns must expand learning opportunities to meet the needs of every student,” said State Auditor, John Dougall in a press release.

Data overview

Data from 2014-2021 found that graduation rates gradually increased as did the funding per student. Utah spent an average of $10,299 per student in 2021, an increase of $1,956 since 2014.

While Utah’s overall graduation rate peaked at 88%, rates for low-income, Hispanic and Latino, special education, and students whose primary language is not English did not fare as well. Graduation rates for these groups saw a deficit of 8-17% when compared to the overall rate in 2021.

The dashboard also breaks down by school district and by individual school. 

How Utah’s graduation rate measures up

Many states saw graduation rates decline during the pandemic as pupils transitioned to remote learning. Some states, such as Arizona reported a much lower graduation rate of 74% in 2020, and Oregon and North Dakota showed dips of 2%. Utah, however, continued to see more students receive their high school diplomas. 

To find out more about Utah’s educational spending and performance visit auditor.utah.gov/kids.

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