Between 2018 and 2029, nearly 1.3 million students
will graduate from the state’s public K-12 school
system. Under current rates, just 247,400 will complete high school in four years, immediately enroll at NCCC or UNC, and graduate on time.
Educational attainment is part of a decades-long process. It is the sum of educational experiences and exposures that begin at birth and continue well into adulthood. Overall pipeline completion—measured here as a postsecondary degree—is the cumulative result of success across multiple transition points. Each transition point offers an opportunity for intervention to improve educational outcomes for individuals and North Carolina as a whole. But to make change, we must first understand the landscape of the state. Together, Carolina Demography and the John M. Belk Endowment developed a data-driven understanding of North Carolina’s educational pipeline and potential pathways to higher adult educational attainment.