Idaho at a Glance - Life after High School Report uri icon



  • Policy brief from the James A. & Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research | Idaho at a Glance. January 2016, Vol. 7, No. 1 | In recent years, Idaho has ranked at or near the bottom of all 50 states in terms of our “Go On” rate, that is, how many high school graduates go on for postsecondary education. In 2014, Idaho’s Go On rate for the fall after high school graduation was only 47%. To understand Idaho’s low Go On rate, in September 2015 we surveyed 385 young adults who had graduated from an Idaho high school the previous spring. We asked them what they were doing and how they made their decision about life after high school. Based on our survey and research others have done, what have we learned? More females than males are enrolling in postsecondary education. This is true among our survey respondents, in Idaho generally, and in the U.S. as a whole. In Idaho in 2014, 53% of females went on, compared to only 38% of males. Males and females are motivated by different considerations. Among our respondents, a higher percentage of males than females said the most important thing in deciding about life after high school was “making money.” In contrast, more females than males cited “expanding my horizons” as their most important consideration. Not all young adults in Idaho believe postsecondary education pays off. In our survey, only two-thirds of respondents strongly agreed that more education would help them get a higher paying job. The rest had at least some doubt. Parents influence their children’s decisions about life after high school. In our survey, a significantly higher percentage of respondents whose parents had at least some postsecondary education went on after high school than those whose parents did not. And among respondents who went on, 75% said parents were the most influential people when it came to deciding what to do after high school.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016

Additional Document Info


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