Congratulations, Class of 2010!

According to a study recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), graduation rates at public U.S. high schools are at their highest in over 30 years!

The report notes that in 2010, more than 3.1 million students graduated high school, 78.2% of those after their fourth year. Depending on state, numbers were higher or lower (for example the highest ranked was Vermont at 91.4% while the lowest was Nevada at 57.8%).

In 2009, the graduation rate was 76.5%, making both years the highest since 1975 and 1976 when 75% of students graduated.

The Christian Science Monitor speculated that these high rates may be correlated with a lower number of employment opportunities and lower average annual salaries for high school drop outs than the historical average. According to the Census Bureau, drop outs earn $20,241 on average per year while high school graduates usually take home about $30,627 annually.

Whatever their motives may be, we’re glad that students are taking the initiative to complete their high school education! Do you have your high school diploma? Let us know your story in the comment section below, then check out eCollegeFinder to find out how to take your education and career to the next level!