State expects decrease in high school graduates

Kelly Petryszyn

Ohio not affected yet, but trend anticipated for next 5-15 years

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Fewer high school students will be graduating in Ohio over the next five to 15 years.

“Between now and 2013 (we are) predicting there will be 10,000 fewer graduates in Ohio,” said Mark Ledoux, associate director of admissions for Kent State.

This is an anticipated trend for the state of Ohio. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of residents who graduated with a high school degree increased from 83 percent to around 86 percent from 2000 to 2006.

“We know that (when) students move up in education, there will be less students,” Ledoux said. He said the cause for this trend is unknown. He added there has been a slight decrease in the population of Ohio.

So far, Bill Smerglia, a guidance counselor at Streetsboro High School, said he hasn’t seen a decrease at his school. He said the number of students graduating has been consistent.

According to the Ohio Board of Education, the graduation rate at Streetsboro High School stayed consistent from 2005 to 2006 at over 89 percent from 2006 to 2007 when it was about 91 percent.

Aurora High School also saw a perfect graduation rate.

According to the Ohio Board of Education, the graduation rate at Aurora High School was 100 percent in both 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.

Although the decrease has not affected Ohio yet, the Kent State Admissions Office is preparing. It is anticipating a smaller pool of applicants because there are less students graduating high school. To get around this, Kent State increased its out-of-state recruiting, Ledoux said.

Despite the anticipated decrease, the number of high school students choosing college is increasing. Smerglia said the amount of Streetsboro High School students going to college was around 30 percent years ago. Now the percentage has increased to 50-55 percent. He said this may be because there are more people in the area, and the percentage of students is increasing.

Mike Roberto, assistant principal at Aurora High School, said about 80 percent of their students go to college and around 10 percent continue on to community college.

Contact student affairs reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].