The School District of Philadelphia’s (SDP’s) Ninth Grade On-Track metric is an established and validated tool for early identification of students who are not likely to graduate on time. Research has shown that the School District of Philadelphia’s (SDP) Ninth Grade On-Track metric is directly linked to on-time high school graduation. However, no research in Philadelphia to date has focused on how On-Track status is related to college matriculation among students who graduate.

This report builds on previous findings by examining first-fall matriculation outcomes of the 2015-16 first-time ninth-grade cohort who graduated on time (Class of 2019) by their Ninth Grade On-Track status (Firmly On-Track, On-Track But At Risk, and Off-Track). This report also compares matriculation outcomes across demographic characteristics.

Key findings include:

  • A higher percentage of students who were Firmly On-Track in ninth grade matriculated into college four years later compared to students who were On-Track But At Risk or Off-Track.
  • A higher percentage of female students matriculated into both two- and four-year colleges across all On-Track subgroups.
  • A higher percentage of Hispanic/Latino students were Off-Track in ninth grade and a lower percentage matriculated into a four-year college compared to students of other races/ethnicities.
  • Students with IEPs had similar Ninth Grade On-Track rates as students without IEPs, but a lower percentage of students with IEPs matriculated into college following their high school graduation.
  • A higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students did not matriculate into college compared to noneconomically disadvantaged students across all On-Track subgroups.
  • Overall, GPA was highly predictive of whether students matriculated, with higher GPAs indicating higher rates of matriculation, particularly at four-year colleges.

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