The National Student Clearinghouse tracked nearly 6,300 first-time freshmen through graduation and beyond. They Clearinghouse found the following:
- students who earned a 1650 or better on the SAT or a 24 or better on the ACT were four times more likely to graduate and enroll in college immediately.
- But the PSAT, taken in sophomore year, was an even stronger predictor; students who scored at or more than 145 on that test were 13 times as likely to go on to college.
- Completing at least one Advanced placement course in 11th grade also quadrupled college likelihood.
- For students not in poverty, completing rigorous coursework closed racial gaps almost entirely. For example, going just on the race of students not in poverty, black freshmen had a 28 percent likelihood of being college-ready by graduation, and Hispanic students a 39 percent probability, compared to 56 percent and 69 percent for white and Asian students respectively.
- Among students who completed Algebra 1 in 8th grade, at least one advanced class in 9th grade, and Algebra 2 and one Advanced Placement course by the end of 11th grade, the likelihood of going to college was 95 percent or more for all students, regardless of race.