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KWIC Indicator Narrative

4-Year Cohort High School Dropout Rate

Data Provider: NYS Education Department


Related Indicators:

  • 4-Year Cohort HS Dropout Rate - All students [view data]

Life Area:



The cohort dropout rate is a measure of the number of students from a freshman cohort group who leave school before graduating in 4 years divided by the total number of freshman in the cohort group. The cohort group is adjusted by adding any students who transfer into the cohort later during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out, emigrate to another country or die during the same period.

The cohort dropout measure tends to be higher than other measures of dropout rates.


Students who do not complete school are especially vulnerable since they have far higher unemployment rates than high school graduates. When employed, they earn less, are more likely to be in semi-skilled manual jobs and work at jobs with poorer working conditions and benefits.

The social, economic and personal costs include forgone tax revenues, decreased productivity, increased demand for and reliance on social services, reduced political participation and generally poorer health.

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