College enrollment rate is higher among Michigan 4-H alumni than their peers

Michigan 4-H alumni attend college at a higher rate than their peers of the same age.

Youth involved in Michigan 4-H have access to programs that expand their horizons, allow personal growth and provide career exploration to get them on the right track for post-secondary education pursuit. Youth development and experiential education are research-based foundations that enable 4-H to prepare youth for successful transition to adulthood – both academically and socially. Through 4-H, youth gain life skills needed to pursue and succeed in college.

Michigan 4-H obtains college enrollment data for 4-H alumni through a subscription with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC). StudentTracker is the only nationwide source of college enrollment and degree data. More than 3,500 colleges and universities, enrolling more than 98 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions, provide enrollment and graduation data to the Clearinghouse. (The only Michigan colleges with more than 1,000 students that do not report student data to the National Student Clearinghouse are Rochester College and the Michigan Jewish Institute.)

NSC StudentTracker data for Michigan 4-H program alumni who graduated high school from 2009 to 2013 indicate these students are currently attending college at a significantly higher rate than their Michigan peers who are the same age.


Michigan 4-H alumni reflected above include 4-H Seniors (those enrolled in county 4-H programs) as well as participants in the 4-H precollege programs 4-H Capitol Experience, 4-H Exploration Days, 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp, and the Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Council.

Beginning with the high school class of 2012, Michigan 4-H can compare college enrollment rate of 4-H youth at the county and district level to all the college age youth from these areas. 4-H alumni are more likely to go to college than their same-age peers in 88 percent of Michigan counties. In the counties where the general population’s college enrollment rate is higher than that of 4-H alumni, there is a major university or community college within that county. The counties that have a higher college enrollment rate for their overall young adult population than that of 4-H alumni all have one or more colleges or universities within their county.

Counties where 4-H is present continue to develop new programs and approaches to meet the changing needs of students and prepare them for successful transition to college and adult life. Michigan 4-H has more information about getting involved.

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