November 18, 2019

Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia’s cohort graduation rates have hit historic highs according to data released by the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). The adjusted cohort graduation rates represent the percent of the ninth-grade students who graduate with a regular diploma in four or five years.

The 2018-19 school year data show an increase in the four-year rate to 91.4 percent (up from 90.2 percent) and an increase in the five-year rate to 90.7 percent (up from 90 percent). These advances represent the highes­­t graduation rates recorded in the state’s history. Additionally, there were significant gains in the graduation rate among students with disabilities at a rate of 78.8 percent. This represents an approximate 10 percent increase over the past five years among that subgroup. Focused support for students receiving special education services has helped improve the overall graduation rate.

“I’ve said for a long time that our kids in West Virginia are the single most valuable resource we have in our great state and that we need to invest in our students every chance we get,” Gov. Justice said. “That’s why I’m proud beyond belief to see that we’ve hit the all-time state record for graduation rates. This directly reflects on the hard work and effort being made by our state school board, administrators, teachers, and service personnel to keep improving our education system. It’s such good news and we want to make sure that the graduation rates continue to get better every year. If our students succeed West Virginia will grow and succeed.”

According to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), remediation rates among college-bound students at in-state institutions has steadily declined over the past several years as more institutions move away from traditional remediation courses to corequisite courses. Students who enroll in corequisite courses earn college credit upon passing the course.

“These historic figures represent the collaborative efforts of the education community in our state to support student growth and academic readiness,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine. “Our counties and schools are working tirelessly to make sure our students receive the type of education that prepares them for whatever path they choose, be it workforce or higher education.”

According to HEPC, 52.6 percent of students enrolled in institutions of higher education in fall 2018. That same year, 41 percent of students continued their education to achieve advanced credentials or certifications, joined the workforce or enrolled in the military upon graduation.

“We can no longer measure the success of our graduates by only considering the percentage entering college,” Paine said. “Because of the caliber of our career technical education programs, many students graduate with meaningful opportunities to earn advanced credentials and certifications or enter directly into the workforce.”

For detailed graduation data by district, visit (click on “Graduation”).

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or