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New Mexico High School Graduation


New Mexico implemented its first 4-year cohort graduation rate in 2009, transitioning to the National Governors Association (NGA) cohort computation method. The cohort consists of all students who were first-time freshmen four years earlier and who graduated by August 1 of their 4th year. Additionally, cohorts are tracked for one additional year past their expected year of graduation, yielding a 5-year graduation rate. The 4-year rate is utilized for annual school and district accountability.

New Mexico's Shared Accountability model was reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education and approved in the spring of 2010. The unique features of Shared Accountability are:

  • All schools with any grade 9, 10, 11, or 12 receive a rate.
  • Student outcomes are distributed proportionally to all high schools attended.
  • All students entering New Mexico public high schools become members of an on-time cohort.

Graduation Counts refer to the number of students receiving a regular diploma by the end of a single academic year. These students may have been in high school for more than 4 years.

(Graduation counts are not currently available.)

Graduation Rates are the percentage of students that graduated on time, which begins when the student is first in the 9th grade. Prior to 2008, rates are the percentage of seniors that graduated by the end of the year. Rates 2007 and earlier are not comparable to 2008 and later.

4-Year 5-Year 6-Year
2013 ~ ~
2012 Available May 2014 Available May 2014
2011 Available May 2014



“New Mexico implemented its first cohort (4-year) graduation rate in 2008.  Prior to 2008, a different method was used that limits comparisons with current cohort rates.  To request earlier rates you may submit an Inspection of Public Records request to the New Mexico Public Education Department” (link page)

Cindy Gregory, PhD
Chief Statistician
Ph: (505) 827-6508

General Information

New Mexico's college and career ready graduation requirements – necessary for the Diploma of Excellence – provide students with the strong preparation needed to open doors after high school and keep them open in the future.

Currently, far too many students drop out or graduate from high school without the knowledge and skills required for success in the 21st century workplace and/or post-secondary education, closing doors and limiting post-secondary options. (In New Mexico, close to 50% of recent high school graduates enroll in remediation their freshman year of college; nationwide, 41% of employers are dissatisfied with high school graduates' ability to read and understand written material.)

Dropping out of high school is no longer an option. (High school dropouts in New Mexico face a 13% unemployment rate and earn an average income of $11,426.) Now nearly every good job requires some certification, license, apprenticeship, associate's degree or more. Click here to view an Education Week article on lifetime income based on college major.

For more information on New Mexico's High School Redesign Requirements:


Additional Resources