Recent data from the Public Policy Institute of California show that just over 62 percent of the 435,000 students who graduated from high school in spring 2020 enrolled in college within 12 months, down from a recent peak of 67 percent in 2017–18.

Additional highlights of the report include:

  • High school graduates are more likely to go to the California Community Colleges (CCC) than to enroll in the four-year public systems: 32 percent enroll in a CCC, while 12 percent go to California State University (CSU) and 8 percent go to the University of California (UC).
  • CCC enrollment rates have fallen in recent years-they are down about 6 percentage points from a 2015 peak. Enrollment at the four-year universities has been relatively stable, increasing by 2.1 percentage points at UC and declining by 0.5 percent at CSU.
  • Transfers from community colleges to four-year universities play an outsized role in California, compared to other states. In fall 2022, students transferring from community colleges made up 29 percent of new enrollees at UC and 42 percent of new enrollees at CSU.
  • The state is expanding structured dual enrollment programs, which enable high school students to gain valuable experience by taking-and earning credit for-community college courses.

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