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Georgia's 2021 graduation rate holds steady at 83 percent

School- and District-Level Graduation Rates: PDF | Excel

See the bottom of this release for an important disclaimer on use of the Economically Disadvantaged subgroup data.

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office,

October 21, 2021 – Georgia's high-school graduation rate did not change significantly from 2020 to 2021 – the 2021 rate is 83.7 percent, compared to 83.8 percent in 2020.

Georgia's graduation rate has increased by 14 percentage points since 2012.

A total of 102 Georgia school districts and 223 schools recorded graduation rates at or above 90 percent. Thirty-seven districts and 98 schools recorded rates at or above 95 percent.

“Given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am pleased to see Georgia's graduation rate holding steady," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Combined with the class of 2021's increases in ACT and SAT scores, this is an encouraging indicator about the work being done in public schools. Teachers and students have continued to succeed in the face of challenging circumstances. Of course, there is still work to do – we will continue our efforts to ensure every student sees the relevance of their high-school education and receives a diploma that directly prepares them for their future."

CSI – Graduation Rate Exits

Each year, the Georgia Department of Education releases lists of schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), along with a list of schools who have made the improvements needed to exit CSI or TSI status.

Because Georgia received a waiver of some federal accountability requirements for the 2021-2022 school year, new CSI and TSI lists will not be calculated this year (note that lists were also not calculated last year as state assessments were not administered in spring 2020).

However, the U.S. Department of Education has informed states they are permitted to exit CSI schools identified for low graduation rates from the list, provided those schools' 2021 graduation rates meet the exit criteria.

The following two schools' 2021 graduation rates met the criteria to exit CSI status:

  • Berrien Academy Performance Learning Center, Berrien County Schools
  • Clarkston High School, DeKalb County Schools

“An exit from CSI status means a school has done hard work that produced measurable improvements for their students," Superintendent Woods said. “I wish to congratulate these schools for their successful school improvement efforts, in partnership with the GaDOE School Improvement team."

How Georgia calculates its graduation rate

Georgia calculates a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as required by federal law. This rate is:

  • The number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma, divided by
  • The number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class

Georgia Graduation Rates – 2012 to 2021

2021 – 83.7 percent

2020 – 83.8 percent

2019 – 82.0 percent

2018 – 81.6 percent

2017 – 80.6 percent

2016 – 79.4 percent

2015 – 79.0 percent

2014 – 72.6 percent

2013 – 71.8 percent

2012 – 69.7 percent

Disclaimer on the use of Economically Disadvantaged subgroup data: During the 2020-2021 school year, the United States Department of Agriculture provided School Food Authorities operating the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs waiver flexibilities to offer school meals to all students at no cost. As a result, the response rate for Free and Reduced Meal Applications may show a decrease in submissions that resulted in a lower rate of economically-identified students where school meal applications are utilized for this purpose. Thus, the Economically Disadvantaged subgroup may not be comparable to previous years.