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Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

2019 Academic State Champs honors Michigan schools where college is the norm

DEARBORN – Academic State Champs annually recognizes great schools across Michigan. It’s tough to do that this year without also praising a community.

Forty Michigan high schools are 2019 Academic State Champs, with the award based this year on the percentage of grads who enrolled in a two- or four-year college. The kings of college enrollment are spread around the state, from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula, Saginaw to Kalamazoo.

Among those 40 schools, seven are in Dearborn and adjacent Dearborn Heights.

The fact that roughly one in six State Champ schools are in a 35-square-mile, working class patch of Wayne County offers both a message that family income is not destiny, and an opportunity for lessons: If Dearborn can get three out of four students into college, then the state can, too.

This is the eighth year Bridge has named Academic State Champs, with the criterion often changing to emphasize different challenges facing Michigan schools. This year, winners were determined on the basis of college enrollment – what percentage of high school seniors enrolled in two- or four-year colleges within six months of graduation.

Find your schools

You can search by school, district or county to see the percentage of graduates who enroll in college. Statewide, an average of 63 percent of high school grads enrolled in college over three years. To get more details about individual schools, click on the school link

CountyDistrictSchoolGrads in college (%)
WayneDetroitRenaissance High School86.7
WayneDetroitCass Technical High School81.3
WayneDetroitBenjamin Carson School for Science and Medicine66.5
WayneDetroitCommunication and Media Arts HS62.7
WayneDetroitDetroit School of Arts61.3
WayneDetroitDavis Aerospace High School52.3
WayneDetroitCody Academy of Public Leadership48.9
WayneDetroitKing High School46.2
WayneDetroitDetroit International Academy for Young Women45.2
WayneDetroitSoutheastern High School38.7
WayneDetroitMedicine and Community Health Academy at Cody38.2
WayneDetroitDetroit Collegiate Preparatory High School @ Northwestern37.2
WayneDetroitWestern International High School37
WayneDetroitEast English Village Preparatory Academy34.6
WayneDetroitMumford High School34.5
WayneDetroitCentral High School33.9
WayneDetroitPershing High School28.6
WayneDetroitDenby High School28.4
WayneDetroitFord High School26.5
WayneDetroitOsborn Academy of Mathematics20.9
WayneDetroitDetroit City West Side Academy for Leadership Development18.7
HoughtonAdams TownshipJeffers High School54.8
LenaweeAddisonAddison High School60.1
LenaweeAdrianAdrian High School58.5
WayneAdvanced Technology AcademyAdvanced Technology Academy43.5
OaklandAGBU Alex-Marie Manoogian SchoolAGBU Alex-Marie Manoogian School82.5
MonroeAirportAirport Senior High School56.9
EmmetAlansonAlanson Public School68.8
St. ClairAlgonacAlgonac Junior/Senior High School58.3
AlleganAlleganAllegan High School52.4
WayneAllen ParkAllen Park High School73.6
OttawaAllendaleAllendale High School63.6
GratiotAlmaAlma Senior High School57.9
LapeerAlmontAlmont High School73.2
MacombAnchor BayAnchor Bay High School73.6
WashtenawAnn ArborSkyline High School82.6
WashtenawAnn ArborHuron High School82.4
WashtenawAnn ArborPioneer High School81.2
WashtenawAnn ArborPathways To Success Academic Campus45.5
WashtenawArbor Preparatory High SchoolArbor Preparatory High School84.2
MacombArmadaArmada High School68
MacombArts Academy in the WoodsArts Academy in the Woods52.7
CalhounAthensAthens Junior/Senor High School58.8
GeneseeAthertonAtherton Jr. / Sr. High School51.5
OaklandAvondaleAvondale High School70.4
HuronBad AxeBad Axe High School70
LakeBaldwinBaldwin Senior High School51.4
Van BurenBangor (Van Buren)Bangor High School50
BaragaBaragaBaraga School53.6
DeltaBark RiverBark River-Harris Jr/Sr High School75
ClintonBathBath High School60.9
CalhounBattle CreekBattle Creek Central High School53.4
IsabellaBeal CityBeal City High School76.2
GladwinBeavertonBeaverton Junior/Senior High School59.3
MonroeBedfordBedford Senior High School65.2
GeneseeBeecherBeecher High School53.6
IoniaBeldingBelding High School50.7
EatonBellevueBellevue Jr/Sr High School48.9
GeneseeBendleBendle High School52.6
GeneseeBentleyBentley Senior High School49.4
BenzieBenzie Co. CentralBenzie Central Sr. High School62.7
OaklandBerkleyBerkley High School76.8
GogebicBessemerA.D. Johnston Jr/Sr High School64.6
MecostaBig RapidsBig Rapids High School64.6
SaginawBirch RunBirch Run High School57.8
OaklandBirminghamErnest W. Seaholm High School86
OaklandBirminghamWylie E. Groves High School81.9
OttawaBlack River Public SchoolBlack River Public School Middle/High77.4
LenaweeBlissfieldBlissfield High School58.3
OaklandBloomfield HillsBloomfield Hills High School84.1
Van BurenBloomingdaleBloomingdale Middle and High School52.5
St. ClairBlue Water Middle CollegeBlue Water Middle College Academy68.9
CharlevoixBoyne CityBoyne City High School68.4
OaklandBradford AcademyBradford Academy42.1
OaklandBrandonBrandon High School64.2
GratiotBreckenridgeBreckenridge High School64.4
DickinsonBreitung TwpKingsford High School69.4
SaginawBridgeport-SpauldingBridgeport High School39.2
BerrienBridgmanBridgman High School74.1
LivingstonBrightonBrighton High School80.7
ChippewaBrimleyBrimley Jr./Sr. High65.6
LenaweeBritton DeerfieldBritton Deerfield Schools-Britton Building59.2
BranchBronsonBronson Jr/Sr High School59.5
SanilacBrown CityBrown City High School57.8
BerrienBuchananBuchanan High School62.8
MidlandBullock CreekBullock Creek High School67.9
ShiawasseeByronByron Area High School57.7
KentByron CenterByron Center High School71.5
WexfordCadillacCadillac Senior High School64.9
KentCaledoniaCaledonia High School70
HoughtonCalumetCalumet High School48.5
HillsdaleCamden-FrontierCamden-Frontier High School54.2
St. ClairCapacCapac High School61.9
GeneseeCarman-AinsworthGenesee Early College86.9
GeneseeCarman-AinsworthCarman-Ainsworth High School64.1
GeneseeCarman-AinsworthMott Middle College High School49.4
TuscolaCaroCaro High School55.3
SaginawCarrolltonCarrollton High School56.6
MontcalmCarson City-CrystalCarson City-Crystal High School45.9
TuscolaCass CityCass City Jr. and Sr. High School65.3
CassCassopolisRoss Beatty High School58.9
KentCedar SpringsCedar Springs High School57
MacombCenter LineCenter Line High School54.7
WashtenawCentral AcademyCentral Academy91.1
MontcalmCentral MontcalmCentral Montcalm High School59
St. JosephCentrevilleCentreville Jr. /Sr. High School56.7
WayneCesar Chavez AcademyCesar Chavez High School43.5
WayneChandler Park AcademyChandler Park Academy - High School59.2
CharlevoixCharlevoixCharlevoix Middle/ High School67.7
EatonCharlotteCharlotte Senior High School59.1
CheboyganCheboyganCheboygan Area High School67
WashtenawChelseaChelsea High School80
SaginawChesaning UnionChesaning Union High School70.8
MecostaChippewa HillsChippewa Hills High School58.6
MacombChippewa ValleyDakota High School83.7
MacombChippewa ValleyChippewa Valley High School71.6
ClareClareClare High School68
WayneClarencevilleClarenceville High School54.3
OaklandClarkstonClarkston High School74.2
OaklandClawsonClawson High School57.2
KalamazooClimax-ScottsClimax-Scotts High School67
LenaweeClintonClinton High School71.7
MacombClintondaleClintondale High School45.8
WayneClintondaleCreative Learning Center - Dearborn27.1
GeneseeClioClio Area High School57.6
BranchColdwaterColdwater High School58.5
MidlandColemanColeman Junior/Senior High School54.5
St. JosephColonColon High School52.3
JacksonColumbiaColumbia Central High School65.6
KalamazooComstockComstock High School63.1
KentComstock ParkComstock Park High School69.8
JacksonConcordConcord High School66.1
MacombConner Creek Academy EastConner Creek Academy East - Michigan Collegiate37
St. JosephConstantineConstantine High School58.2
OttawaCoopersvilleCoopersville High School64.1
WayneCornerstone Health and Technology SchoolCornerstone Health and Technology School60.4
ShiawasseeCorunnaCorunna High School54.4
BerrienCountryside AcademyCountryside Academy - Middle/High School56.3
CrawfordCrawford AuSableGrayling High School54.5
WayneCrestwoodCrestwood High School82
MecostaCrossroads Charter AcademyCrossroads Charter Academy (7-12)58.5
SanilacCroswell-LexingtonCroswell-Lexington High School61.6
InghamDansvilleDansville High School63.3
GeneseeDavisonDavison High School68.3
WayneDearbornDearborn High School84.5
WayneDearbornHenry Ford Early College83
WayneDearbornFordson High School80.7
WayneDearbornEdsel Ford High School71.8
WayneDearborn Heights #7Annapolis High School58.1
Van BurenDecaturDecatur High School57.6
SanilacDeckervilleDeckerville Community High School57.6
BarryDelton-KelloggDelton-Kellogg High School57.4
WayneDetroit Community SchoolsDetroit Community Schools - High School39.6
WayneDetroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social JusticeDetroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice40.5
WayneDetroit Edison Public School AcademyDetroit Edison Public School Academy - High School76.7
WayneDetroit Public Safety AcademyDetroit Public Safety Academy30.4
ClintonDeWittDeWitt High School80.4
WashtenawDexterDexter High School85.1
HoughtonDollar Bay-TamarackDollar Bay-Tamarack City Area K12 School59
CassDowagiac UnionUnion High School56.9
LapeerDrydenDryden High School64.5
MonroeDundeeDundee Community High School62.3
ShiawasseeDurandDurand Area High School52.9
St. ClairEast ChinaSt. Clair High School73.4
St. ClairEast ChinaMarine City High School66.8
MacombEast DetroitEastpointe High School37.9
KentEast Grand RapidsEast Grand Rapids High School85.6
JacksonEast JacksonEast Jackson High School55.8
CharlevoixEast JordanEast Jordan Middle/High School64.4
InghamEast LansingEast Lansing High School82
EatonEaton RapidsEaton Rapids High School56.5
WayneEcorseEcorse Community High School28.1
CassEdwardsburgEdwardsburg High School62.5
AntrimElk RapidsElk Rapids High School81.8
HuronElkton-Pigeon-Bay Port LakerLaker High School65.5
DeltaEscanabaEscanaba Area Public High School69.4
OsceolaEvart Public SchoolsEvart High School37.9
OaklandFarmingtonNorth Farmington High School85.6
OaklandFarmingtonHarrison High School80.8
OaklandFarmingtonFarmington High School80.4
OaklandFarmingtonFarmington Central High School24.1
ClareFarwellFarwell High School43.2
AlleganFennvilleFennville Public High School53
GeneseeFentonFenton Senior High School77.6
OaklandFerndaleFerndale High School66.9
OaklandFerndaleUniversity High School54.2
MacombFitzgeraldFitzgerald Senior High School55
WayneFlat RockFlat Rock Community High School61.4
LivingstonFlexTech High SchoolFlexTech High School31
OaklandFlexTech High School - NoviFlexTech High School - Novi27.9
GeneseeFlintSouthwestern Classical Academy62.7
GeneseeFlintNorthwestern High School39.6
GeneseeFlushingFlushing High School74.3
KalkaskaForest AreaForest Area High School43
KentForest HillsNorthern High School83.9
KentForest HillsCentral High School83.5
KentForest HillsEastern High School82.7
IronForest ParkForest Park School72.6
LivingstonFowlervilleFowlerville High School61.9
SaginawFrankenmuthFrankenmuth High School81.4
BenzieFrankfort-ElbertaFrankfort High School66.1
MacombFraserFraser High School69.7
SaginawFreelandFreeland Middle School/High School83.2
NewaygoFremontFremont High School62.7
WayneFrontier International AcademyFrontier International Academy60.6
MuskegonFruitportFruitport High School57.9
GratiotFultonFulton High School62.2
KalamazooGalesburg-AugustaGalesburg-Augusta High School68.8
WayneGarden CityGarden City High School59
WayneGarden CityCambridge High School10.8
OtsegoGaylordGaylord High School/Voc. Bldg.58.4
GeneseeGeneseeGenesee High School47.7
WayneGibraltarOscar A. Carlson High School69.7
DeltaGladstoneGladstone Area High School68
GladwinGladwinGladwin High School66.7
LeelanauGlen LakeGlen Lake Community School71.6
Van BurenGoblesGobles High School54.5
KentGodfrey-LeeLee High School47
KentGodwin HeightsGodwin Heights Senior High School58.8
GeneseeGoodrichGoodrich High School75.7
GeneseeGrand BlancGrand Blanc Community High School74.1
OttawaGrand HavenGrand Haven High School70.9
EatonGrand LedgeGrand Ledge High School73.7
KentGrand RapidsCity Middle/High School92.8
KentGrand RapidsGrand Rapids University Preparatory Academy71.4
KentGrand RapidsInnovation Central High School53.5
KentGrand RapidsOttawa Hills High School45.3
KentGrand RapidsUnion High School41.6
KentGrand River PreparatoryHigh SchoolGrand River Preparatory High School74.6
KentGrandvilleGrandville High School70.4
NewaygoGrantGrant High School53.7
JacksonGrass LakeGrass Lake High School70.5
InghamGreat Lakes Cyber AcademyGreat Lakes Cyber Academy26.7
MontcalmGreenvilleGreenville Senior High School61.1
WayneGrosse IleGrosse Ile High School82
WayneGrosse PointeGrosse Pointe South High School85.7
WayneGrosse PointeGrosse Pointe North High School84.8
KalamazooGull LakeGull Lake High School73.8
MarquetteGwinnGwinn Middle/High School60
AlleganHamiltonHamilton High School56.9
WayneHamtramckHamtramck High School73.1
WayneHamtramckHorizon High School35.1
HoughtonHancockHancock Middle/High School68.5
JacksonHanover-HortonHanover-Horton High School71.9
HuronHarbor BeachHarbor Beach Community High School73.9
EmmetHarbor SpringsHarbor Springs High School71.3
CalhounHarper CreekHarper Creek High School61.5
WayneHarper WoodsHarper Woods High School53.3
ClareHarrisonHarrison Community High School57.6
OceanaHartHart High School63.9
Van BurenHartfordHartford High School63
LivingstonHartlandHartland High School78.1
InghamHaslettHaslett High School79.3
BarryHastingsHastings High School55.5
OaklandHazel ParkHazel Park High School36.9
SaginawHemlockHemlock High School69.3
WayneHenry Ford AcademyHenry Ford Academy73.3
WayneHenry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (PSAD)Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (PSAD)59.8
NewaygoHesperiaHesperia High School52
HillsdaleHillsdaleHillsdale High School62.6
OttawaHollandHolland High School53.8
OaklandHollyHolly High School56.5
InghamHoltHolt Senior High - North Campus73.8
MuskegonHoltonHolton High School57.2
CalhounHomerHomer Community High School58.4
AlleganHopkinsHopkins High School47.4
RoscommonHoughton LakeHoughton Lake High School63.5
HoughtonHoughton-PortageHoughton Central High School70.9
LivingstonHowellHowell High School68.7
LenaweeHudsonHudson Area High School55.2
OttawaHudsonvilleHudsonville High School68.8
WayneHuronHuron High School66
OaklandHuron ValleyMilford High School72.6
OaklandHuron ValleyLakeland High School71.6
MonroeIdaIda High School69.3
LapeerImlay CityImlay City High School60.4
CheboyganInland LakesInland Lakes Secondary School64.7
GeneseeInternational Academy FlintInternational Academy of Flint (K-12)63.3
IoniaIoniaIonia High School53.9
DickinsonIron MountainIron Mountain High School73.5
GogebicIronwoodLuther L. Wright K-12 School80
MarquetteIshpemingIshpeming High School65.2
GratiotIthacaIthaca High School66.7
JacksonJacksonJackson High School59.8
WayneJalen Rose Leadership AcademyJalen Rose Leadership Academy67.6
MonroeJeffersonJefferson High School64.5
OttawaJenisonJenison High School69.1
OtsegoJo-LewistonJohannesburg-Lewiston High School65.2
HillsdaleJonesvilleJonesville High School57.8
KalamazooKalamazooKalamazoo Central High School75.3
KalamazooKalamazooLoy Norrix High School73.2
KalamazooKalamazooPhoenix Alternative High School31
ManisteeKaleva Norman DicksonBrethren High School48.9
KalkaskaKalkaskaKalkaska High School55.9
GeneseeKearsleyKearsley High School61.6
KentKelloggsvilleKelloggsville High School55
KentKenowa HillsKenowa Hills High School63.7
KentKent CityKent City High School57.3
KentKentwoodEast Kentwood High School65.4
Grand TraverseKingsleyKingsley Area High School61.8
TuscolaKingstonKingston High School46.6
ShiawasseeLaingsburgLaingsburg High School64.4
MissaukeeLake CityLake City High School50.7
GeneseeLake FentonLake Fenton High School64.8
OaklandLake OrionLake Orion Community High School79.1
MacombLake Shore (Macomb)Lake Shore High School59.5
BerrienLakeshore (Berrien)Lakeshore High School72.6
CalhounLakeview (Calhoun)Lakeview High School66.1
MacombLakeview (Macomb)Lakeview High School68.2
MontcalmLakeview (Montcalm)Lakeview High School54.6
GeneseeLakeVilleLakeVille High School54
BarryLakewoodLakewood High School60.8
OaklandLamphereLamphere High School60.8
St. ClairLandmark AcademyLandmark Academy43.5
MacombL'Anse CreuseL'Anse Creuse High School - North75
MacombL'Anse CreuseL'Anse Creuse High School70.5
InghamLansingJ.W. Sexton High School58.2
InghamLansingEastern High School58.1
InghamLansingEverett High School56.1
LapeerLapeerLapeer High School59.7
Van BurenLawrenceLawrence Jr/Sr High School58.8
Van BurenLawtonLawton High School53.4
InghamLeslieLeslie High School62.1
WashtenawLincolnLincoln Senior High School58.9
WayneLincoln ParkLincoln Park High School38.5
GeneseeLindenLinden High School70.4
WayneLivoniaStevenson High School80.9
WayneLivoniaChurchill High School79.3
WayneLivoniaFranklin High School68.7
KentLowellLowell Senior High School70.5
MasonLudingtonLudington High School65.2
LenaweeMadison (Lenawee)Madison High School66.2
OaklandMadison (Oakland)Madison High School58.2
GeneseeMadison AcademyMadison Academy - High School39.3
AntrimMancelonaMancelona High School51.9
WashtenawManchesterManchester Middle/High School76
ManisteeManisteeManistee Middle High School64.9
SchoolcraftManistiqueManistique Middle and High School70.8
WexfordMantonManton Consolidated High School50
EatonMaple ValleyMaple Valley Jr/Sr High School40.1
CassMarcellusMarcellus High School57
OsceolaMarionMarion High School43.8
SanilacMarletteMarlette Jr./Sr. High School65.1
MarquetteMarquetteMarquette Senior High School78.4
CalhounMarshallMarshall High School70.1
St. ClairMarysvilleMarysville High School72.5
InghamMason (Ingham)Mason High School69.3
MonroeMason (Monroe)Mason Senior High School54.7
MasonMason Co. CentralMason County Central H.S.51.9
Van BurenMattawanMattawan High School79.3
TuscolaMayvilleMayville High School53.2
MissaukeeMcBainMcBain Jr/Sr High School50.5
WayneMelvindale-N. Allen ParkMelvindale High School51.8
St. ClairMemphisMemphis Junior/Senior High School52.2
St. JosephMendonMendon Middle/High School66.9
MenomineeMenomineeMenominee High School67.5
MidlandMeridianMeridian Early College High School52.1
SaginawMerrillMerrill High School46.6
WexfordMesickMesick Consolidated Jr/Sr High School45.2
JacksonMichigan CenterMichigan Center Jr/Sr High School56.4
InghamMichigan Connections AcademyMichigan Connections Academy34.9
ManisteeMichigan Great Lakes Virtual AcademyMichigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy23.6
KentMichigan Virtual Charter AcademyMichigan Virtual Charter Academy31.1
MidlandMidlandH.H. Dow High School79.3
MidlandMidlandMidland High School74.9
MonroeMilanMilan High School69.8
TuscolaMillingtonMillington High School50
OscodaMio-AuSableMio-AuSable High School58.6
MuskegonMona ShoresMona Shores High School69
MonroeMonroeMonroe High School58.1
MontcalmMontabellaMontabella Junior/Senior High52.7
MuskegonMontagueMontague High School54.4
GeneseeMontroseHill-McCloy High School58.7
LenaweeMorenciMorenci Middle and High School51.1
MecostaMorley StanwoodMorley Stanwood High School47.4
GeneseeMt. MorrisE.A. Johnson Memorial H.S.46.8
IsabellaMt. PleasantMt. Pleasant Senior High School72.7
AlgerMunisingMunising High and Middle School69
MuskegonMuskegonMuskegon High School55.1
JacksonNapoleonNapoleon High School65.5
MarquetteNegauneeNegaunee High School74.2
BerrienNew BuffaloNew Buffalo Senior High School63.8
MacombNew HavenNew Haven High School52.9
NewaygoNewaygoNewaygo High School49.5
KentNexTech High SchoolNexTech High School47.7
MarquetteNICEWestwood High School66
BerrienNilesNiles Senior High School57.7
LapeerNorth BranchNorth Branch High School56.6
HuronNorth HuronNorth Huron School60.7
MuskegonNorth MuskegonNorth Muskegon High School77.8
KentNorthviewNorthview High School68.5
WayneNorthvilleNorthville High School89.4
JacksonNorthwestNorthwest High School61.5
DickinsonNorway-VulcanNorway High School68.1
OaklandNoviNovi High School84.2
OaklandOak ParkOak Park High School40.4
WayneOakland InternationalOakland International Academy - High School46.1
MuskegonOakridgeOakridge High School57.1
InghamOkemosOkemos High School82.5
WayneOld Redford AcademyOld Redford Academy - High49.1
EatonOlivetOlivet High School56.6
Presque IsleOnawayOnaway Senior High School65.6
ManisteeOnekamaOnekama Consolidated Schools66
LenaweeOnstedOnsted Community High School66.4
OntonagonOntonagonOntonagon Area School61.3
MuskegonOrchard ViewOrchard View High School62.5
IoscoOscodaOscoda Area High School53.8
AlleganOtsegoOtsego High School68.1
ClintonOvid-ElsieOvid-Elsie High School54.5
ShiawasseeOwossoOwosso High School53.1
OaklandOxfordOxford High School73.6
KalamazooParchmentParchment High School70.1
Van BurenPaw PawPaw Paw High School64
SanilacPeckPeck Jr./Sr. High School52.4
EmmetPellstonPellston Middle/High School64.4
CalhounPennfieldPennfield Senior High School57.3
ShiawasseePerryPerry High School57.4
EmmetPetoskeyPetoskey High School68.5
LivingstonPinckneyPinckney Community High School72.4
OsceolaPine RiverPine River Area Middle/High School54.5
HillsdalePittsfordPittsford Area High School47.3
AlleganPlainwellPlainwell High School73.3
WaynePlymouth-CantonSalem High School86.8
WaynePlymouth-CantonPlymouth High School86.3
WaynePlymouth-CantonCanton High School86.3
WaynePlymouth-CantonStarkweather Academy @ Fiegel33.5
OaklandPontiacPontiac High School31.8
OaklandPontiac Academy for ExcellencePontiac Academy for Excellence - High School31.7
St. ClairPort HuronPort Huron Northern High School59.5
St. ClairPort HuronPort Huron High School48.8
KalamazooPortagePortage Central High School81.5
KalamazooPortagePortage Northern High School77.4
IoniaPortlandPortland High School61.5
Presque IslePosenPosen Consolidated High School52.9
EatonPottervillePotterville High School53.3
BranchQuincyQuincy High School62.6
MuskegonRavennaRavenna High School54.8
HillsdaleReadingReading High School51
WayneRedford UnionRedford Union High School49.3
OsceolaReed CityReed City High School43.3
TuscolaReeseReese High School63.3
MuskegonReeths-PufferReeths-Puffer High School55.5
MacombRichmondRichmond Community High School62.8
WayneRiver RougeRiver Rouge High School42
BerrienRiver ValleyRiver Valley Middle/High School50.9
WayneRiverside AcademyRiverside Academy - West Campus71.6
WayneRiverviewRiverview Community High School68.8
OaklandRochesterRochester Adams High School88.3
OaklandRochesterStoney Creek High School84.7
OaklandRochesterRochester High School80.8
OaklandRochesterAlternative Center for Education29.1
KentRockfordRockford High School77.7
Presque IsleRogers CityRogers City High School74.2
MacombRomeoRomeo High School77
WayneRomulusRomulus Senior High School51.1
RoscommonRoscommonRoscommon High School69.9
MacombRosevilleRoseville High School41.5
OaklandRoyal OakRoyal Oak High School76
ChippewaRudyardRudyard Area Schools54
SaginawSaginawSaginaw Arts and Sciences Academy88.2
SaginawSaginawArthur Hill High School40.8
SaginawSaginawSaginaw High School40.3
SaginawSaginaw TownshipHeritage High School70
SaginawSaginaw TownshipMackinaw High School25.9
WashtenawSalineSaline High School85.6
LenaweeSand CreekSand Creek High School66.8
SanilacSanduskySandusky Junior/Senior High School56.9
IoniaSaranacSaranac Jr/Sr High School60.1
AlleganSaugatuckSaugatuck High School68.4
ChippewaSault Ste. MarieSault Area High School64.3
KalamazooSchoolcraftSchoolcraft High School71.9
OceanaShelbyShelby High School64.5
IsabellaShepherdShepherd High School60.3
Van BurenSouth HavenSouth Haven High School64.1
MacombSouth LakeSouth Lake High School62.3
OaklandSouth LyonSouth Lyon East High School80.2
WayneSouth RedfordLee M. Thurston High School59.2
OaklandSouthfieldUniversity High School Academy94
WayneSouthgateSouthgate Anderson High School64.1
KentSpartaSparta Senior High School56.6
OttawaSpring LakeSpring Lake High School76.3
JacksonSpringportSpringport High School54
SaginawSt. CharlesSt. Charles Community Middle/High School63.7
MackinacSt. IgnaceLaSalle High School69.6
ClintonSt. JohnsSt. Johns High School69.2
BerrienSt. JosephSt. Joseph High School73.5
GratiotSt. LouisSt. Louis High School57.3
WayneStar International AcademyStar International Academy87.2
MenomineeStephensonStephenson Middle/High School65.5
InghamStockbridgeStockbridge Jr/Sr High School55.5
St. JosephSturgisSturgis High School57.7
WayneSummit Academy NorthSummit Academy North High School61.1
SaginawSwan ValleySwan Valley High School74.8
GeneseeSwartz CreekSwartz Creek High School67.6
LuceTahquamenonNewberry High School64.1
IoscoTawasTawas Area High School67.2
WayneTaylorJohn F. Kennedy High School53.6
WayneTaylorTruman High School44.4
LenaweeTecumsehTecumseh High School74.1
BarryThornapple KelloggThornapple Kellogg High School59.7
St. JosephThree RiversThree Rivers High School57.2
Grand TraverseTraverse CityWest Senior High73.3
Grand TraverseTraverse CityCentral High School71.5
WayneTrentonTrenton High School72.1
MontcalmTri CountyTri County Senior High School46.4
WayneTrillium AcademyTrillium Academy64.8
OaklandTroyAthens High School86.2
OaklandTroyTroy High School85.6
HuronUblyUbly Community High School60.7
BranchUnion CityUnion City High School55.3
TuscolaUnionville-SebewaingUnionville-Sebewaing High School71.5
WayneUniversal AcademyUniversal Academy58.3
WayneUniversity Preparatory Academy (PSAD)University Preparatory Academy (PSAD) - High School67.8
WayneUniversity Preparatory Science and Math (PSAD)University Preparatory Science and Math (PSAD) High School68
MacombUticaEisenhower High School87.2
MacombUticaAdlai Stevenson High School81.9
MacombUticaHenry Ford II High School79.2
MacombUticaUtica High School76.6
MacombUticaUCS Alternative Learning Center25.9
WayneVan BurenBelleville High School60.6
MacombVan DykeLincoln High School35.2
JacksonVandercook LakeVandercook Lake High School51.2
TuscolaVassarVassar Senior High School60.4
MontcalmVestaburgVestaburg Community High School50.9
KalamazooVicksburgVicksburg High School74.8
WayneVoyageur AcademyVoyageur College Prep52.7
OaklandWalled LakeWalled Lake Northern High School78.7
OaklandWalled LakeWalled Lake Central High School78.5
OaklandWalled LakeWalled Lake Western High School75.7
MacombWarren ConsolidatedSterling Heights Senior H.S.76.3
MacombWarren ConsolidatedWarren Mott High School73.7
MacombWarren ConsolidatedCousino Senior High School73.1
MacombWarren ConsolidatedWarren Consolidated Community High School21.4
MacombWarren WoodsWarren Woods Tower High School64
WashtenawWashtenaw Technical Middle CollegeWashtenaw Technical Middle College77.9
OaklandWaterfordWaterford Kettering High School63.4
OaklandWaterfordWaterford Mott High School58
BerrienWatervlietWatervliet Senior High School61.7
EatonWaverlyWaverly Senior High School60.4
AlleganWayland UnionWayland High School57.4
WayneWayne-WestlandJohn Glenn High School58.7
WayneWayne-WestlandWayne Memorial High School51.2
InghamWebbervilleWebberville High School49.5
KentWellspring Preparatory High SchoolWellspring Preparatory High School70.3
OaklandWest BloomfieldWest Bloomfield High School84.5
OgemawWest Branch-Rose CityOgemaw Heights High School62.1
IronWest IronWest Iron County High School56.6
KentWest MI Academy of Environmental ScienceWest MI Academy of Environmental Science61.2
KentWest Michigan Aviation AcademyWest Michigan Aviation Academy70.3
OttawaWest OttawaWest Ottawa High School Campus59.7
JacksonWesternWestern High School70.1
WayneWestwoodRobichaud Senior High School39.7
GeneseeWestwood HeightsHamady Community High School55.4
GeneseeWestwood HeightsAcademy West Alternative Education15.6
NewaygoWhite CloudWhite Cloud High School46.6
St. JosephWhite PigeonWhite Pigeon Jr/Sr High School55.6
MuskegonWhitehallWhitehall Senior High School60.3
WashtenawWhitmore LakeWhitmore Lake High School65.2
IoscoWhittemore-PrescottWhittemore-Prescott Jr/Sr High School42.9
InghamWilliamstonWilliamston High School78.4
WayneWoodhaven-BrownstownWoodhaven High School72.1
WayneWyandotteRoosevelt High School58.5
KentWyomingWyoming High School48.7
St. ClairYaleYale Senior High School61.1
WashtenawYpsilantiACTech High School50.3
OttawaZeelandZeeland East High School69.7
OttawaZeelandZeeland West High School65.2
AlpenaAlpenaAlpena High School66.5
MontmorencyHillmanHillman Community Jr/Sr High School64.7
AlconaAlconaAlcona Community High School57
BerrienBerrien SpringsBerrien Springs High School66.4
BerrienBrandywineBrandywine Senior High School61
BerrienColomaColoma High School56.6
BerrienEau ClaireEau Claire High School49.2
BerrienBenton HarborBenton Harbor High School40.9
BayEssexville-HamptonGarber High School74.5
BayBay CityBay City Western High School73.1
BayBangor Twp (Bay)John Glenn High School71.9
ArenacStandish-SterlingStandish-Sterling Central Jr/Sr High School60.3
BayPinconningPinconning High School60
ArenacAu Gres-SimsAu Gres-Sims High School59.6
BayBay CityBay City Central High School57.5

Bridge chose college enrollment as the lens through which to evaluate this year’s awards based on a growing consensus among education, business and political leaders about the value of increasing college attainment rates for Michigan residents.

To be sure, not every high school grad needs (or wants) to attend college. As many of these same leaders remind us, there remains an urgent demand for skilled trade workers that may require job-related certifications but not a college degree. But as Bridge has noted for years, increasing college attainment is key to boosting Michigan’s economy. College grads on average earn more than those with just a high school diploma, and higher incomes mean more tax revenue for things like schools and roads.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set a goal of having 60 percent of working-age adults with some type of post-high school credential by 2030; the figure now stands at about 45 percent.

How likely it is for a high school grad to enroll in college varies widely among  Michigan schools, from a high of 94 percent at University High School Academy in Southfield, to 11 percent at Cambridge High School in Garden City.

Alpena High School in northeast Michigan sends two out of three graduates off to college; Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids sends 45 percent.

Bridge’s analysis looked at 582 high schools that had data for the three most recent academic years for which data is available – 2015-16, 2015-17 and 2017-18. One school that likely would have ranked high, the International Academy of Oakland County, was not included because the state didn’t release data for the school in one of the years used in the analysis.

Best schools by region

Click on a region to see the top 5 schools, with a link to all schools in this region.

Source: Bridge analysis of Michigan Department of Education records

Because college enrollment increases with income, Bridge sought to compare schools with similar levels of poverty. So we divided schools into four divisions based on the percent of students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch or other types of assistance. The 10 schools in each income division with the highest percentage of grads enrolling in college were named Academic State Champs.

Among wealthy schools (where under 25 percent of students are considered economically disadvantaged), Northville High School just northwest of Detroit is tops, sending 89 percent of its grads to college. Close behind are Rochester Adams in Oakland County and Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy (88 percent), and Eisenhower High School in Utica (87 percent).

Topping the list for schools where between 25 percent and 40 percent of students are considered poor is University High School Academy in Southfield (94 percent) and City Middle/High School in Grand Rapids (93 percent).

Among schools with between 40 percent and 55 percent of students considered economically disadvantaged, Detroit Renaissance High School sends 87 percent of its graduates to college. And among the lowest-income schools, Ann Arbor’s Central Academy gets 91 percent onto campus.

Wealth plays role

Schools with few poor students send far many more students to college and many more to four-year schools, state data shows. Below are the averages among nearly 600 schools in the state.

% needy in schoolAny collegeFour-yearTwo-year
< 25 %76.9 %54.9 %22.1 %
25-40 %6538.926.2
40-55 %59.93425.9
> 55%5427.826.2

Two U.P. schools – Luther L. Wright school in Ironwood (80 percent) and Bark River-Harris Jr/Sr High School (75 percent) are champs in the middle-to-lower income division. Among the 40 winners are charter schools, schools to which students are admitted through test scores, as well as traditional public schools.

From factory floor to college assembly line

Three Dearborn schools – Dearborn High, Henry Ford Early College and Henry Ford Academy – are state champs in the middle-to-lower income division. Three more – Star International Academy, Fordson High and Edsel Ford High – are champs in the low-income division. (Star and Henry Ford Academy are charter schools.) Crestwood High School in neighboring Dearborn Heights is also a state champ in the low-income division.

Almost all of these schools send at least three out of four students to college, compared to the state average of 63 percent.

Dearborn and Dearborn Heights’ numbers particularly impress, considering there are more low-income students and more English language learners in the schools than the state average (both factors usually correlate to lower academic achievement).

Dearborn’s low-income students are not only enrolling in college, they’re succeeding at a rate higher than the state average. Among economically disadvantaged students, 36 percent earn at least an associate’s degree within six years of high school, compared to 19 percent across Michigan; another 28 percent are still pursuing a degree six years after leaving high school, compared to 12 percent in Michigan as a whole.

A number of factors came together to transform a once working-class community where kids grew up expecting to toil on auto assembly lines (Dearborn is the home of Ford Motor Company), to a region where going to college is the norm.

Dearborn is home to a community college – Henry Ford College – and the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Dearborn and Dearborn Heights also have large Arab-American and Arab immigrant populations that tend to encourage their kids to reach for the American Dream, say school officials.

“I don’t know how many times parents and students have sat in my office and the parent say to the kids, ‘I don’t want you to become like me, I don’t want you working on the assembly line. I want you to be a doctor or an engineer,’” said Edsel Ford High counselor Ibrahim Baydoun. “Education is so important in this community and in the immigrant culture.”

Making college part of high school

Students who attend the Dearborn school district also benefit from a system unique in Michigan: Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford College report to the same board of education. That governance model nurtures a close working relationship between the district and community college.

The result is two college-credit-gaining programs that give Dearborn students a leg up while saving their families thousands of dollars in college expenses.

The district’s Collegiate Academy program allows students from Dearborn’s three traditional public high schools – Dearborn High, Fordson and Edsel Ford – to graduate from high school in five years with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree, or up to 60 credits toward a bachelor’s degree, at no extra cost. At current community college tuition rates, that’s a savings of about $9,000 while shaving up to two years off of a bachelor’s degree.

The second program is Henry Ford Early College, a district-run high school located on the Henry Ford College campus.

“It’s such a great opportunity, why would you pass it by?” said Abigail Murray, a Dearborn High senior in the College Academy program. Murray is taking one class at her high school and six at Henry Ford College. Her college courses are paid by the school district from the amount the state provides on a per-student basis to Dearborn Public Schools.

Murray hopes to attend the University of Michigan or Michigan State when she graduates from the Collegiate Academy program in 2020.

“I was always planning to go to college, but it made sense to save money up-front instead or racking up student debt, and get all these opportunities as a 17-year-old.”

Early college programs ‒ which allow students to earn an associate’s degree and a high school diploma in five years ‒ are growing in Michigan, with the Michigan Department of Education now listing 125 such programs across the state.

Being able to get an associate’s degree, or enough credits to get halfway to a bachelor’s, at no cost is critical, said Fordson High fifth-year senior Lila Assi. “There are a lot of kids here who really want to go to college but don’t have the money,” Assi said. “If you give them the opportunity to experience college for free, it benefits them and it benefits (the community).”

“I’m not the person I was when I started this program,” said Fordson fifth-year senior Sara Almuktar. “The maturity level is so much different” from high school.  

Dearborn students are not only taking the college classes, they’re thriving, earning higher grade point averages at the community college than the older Henry Ford College students, according to Majed Fadlallah, principal for both the Early College and Collegiate Academy programs.

That’s because faculty at the community college and the high schools work together to make sure students are getting the instruction they need to prepare them for college work, Fadlallah said.

Beyond the two early college programs, students at the Dearborn Public School’s three traditional high schools last year also took 2,800 college classes through dual-enrollment, primarily at Henry Ford College. Dual enrollment courses are individual college classes taken by high school students with the cost picked up by the school district, rather than structured, multi-year programs.

“Even as a freshman, they (the staff) emphasizes college so much,” said Jalal Baydoun, a senior at Edsel Ford High School. “They tell you if you don’t succeed here, there’s no way you’ll succeed at the next level.”

“There’s a competitiveness about college,” said Edsel Ford senior Maxwell Marion. “People talk, ‘Oh, I’m applying to this school or that school.’ It’s very competitive in a good way.”

Early College Principal Fadlallah said he believes other Michigan school districts could learn from Dearborn and build stronger connections with nearby community colleges. Getting students exposed to college increases the chances they’ll enroll – and earn a degree.

“The lesson is this – all kids, given the opportunity, can succeed in college,” Fadlallah said. “They just need the opportunity to do so.”

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