This report looks at the progress of the 2017 ACT-tested graduating class relative to college and career readiness. This year’s report shows that 60% of students in the 2017 US graduating class took the ACT test, up from 54% in 2013.
The increased number of test takers over the past several years enhances the breadth and depth of the data pool, providing a comprehensive picture of the current graduating class in the context of college readiness, as well as offering a glimpse at the emerging educational pipeline.
The percentage of graduates ready for college coursework in three or four subject areas rose slightly to 39% for the 2017 US high school graduating class, up from 38% in 2016. These gains can be explained largely by the reduced number of states administering the ACT to all students compared to last year— particularly in Michigan and Illinois, where average scores rose substantially.
The national average ACT Composite score for the 2017 graduating class rose to 21.0, returning to 2014 and 2015 levels after a drop to 20.8 last year.
Since 2013, the percentage of ACT-tested graduates who met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks has increased in reading, stayed relatively steady in science, and declined in both English and mathematics.
Average scores and college readiness levels among Hispanic students improved slightly this year even while their numbers increased.
Underserved learners (low-income, minority, and/or first-generation college students) continue to struggle in terms of their achievement levels and readiness for college. Less than a fourth of graduates who qualify as underserved met or surpassed three or four of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, compared to more than half of ACT-tested graduates who are not underserved.
Direct to Full Text Report: Condition of College and Career Readiness 2017 (via ACT)
20 pages; PDF. “Annual report on the progress of US high school graduates relative to college readiness.”