Mississippi students surpass the national graduation rate

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, March 11, 2021

Press release from the Mississippi Department of Education

JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi high school students achieved a record-breaking graduation rate of 87.7% in 2019-20, surpassing the most recent national rate of 85%.

School- and district-level graduation rates can be found in the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) report released Thursday, District Graduation and Dropout Rates for the 2021 Accountability System.

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Highlighted achievements from 2019-20 include:

  • The statewide drop-out rate fell to an historic low of 8.8%, a decrease from 13.9% in 2014.
  • The graduation rate for students with disabilities reached an all-time high of 55.4%, more than double the rate of 23.2% in 2014.


The 2019-20 graduation report supports the significant academic gains Mississippi students have been making since the state fully implemented higher academic standards in 2014.

“Mississippi students are recognized nationally for the tremendous academic growth they have achieved in recent years,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “I am incredibly proud of our state’s teachers, school leaders and parents, who have committed themselves to ensuring students complete high school prepared for college, postsecondary training, the military and the workforce.”

High school students now have the opportunity to earn an endorsement with their high school diploma. Starting in their freshman year, students choose whether they want to work toward a traditional diploma, or take additional classes to earn an academic, distinguished academic or career and technical education endorsement. Students can earn more than one endorsement.

Each diploma option prepares students to be successful after graduation, whether that be in the workforce, a career and technical training program, the military or college.

Students who earn an academic or distinguished academic diploma endorsement from a public high school automatically qualify for admission into any of the state’s public universities.