Nearly four out of five ninth graders will graduate with a diploma from American high schools as the graduate rate tops 80% for the first time ever, according to federal data released on Monday.
The rising graduate rate was fueled by significant gains by Hispanics and other minorities, who saw their graduate rates—which are typically lower—rising at double the overall graduation rate.
1.7 million more students graduated in the last 10 years than were expected to with previous rates and over the last two years, according to Politico, and the dropout rate stayed stagnant at 3.3%, according to the data.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce the data formally on Monday morning at an event organized by America’s Promise Alliance, a group that works to raise the graduation rate. The group released a report on Monday using the federal data, mapping out a plan to get the graduation rate above 90% by 2020.
The numbers come on the heels of the news that the University of California schools had admitted more Hispanics than Whites for their 2014 freshman class for the first time ever, signaling a education and demographic shift in the country’s largest state.