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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

County District School Grads in college (%)
Wayne Detroit Renaissance High School 86.7
Wayne Detroit Cass Technical High School 81.3
Wayne Detroit Benjamin Carson School for Science and Medicine 66.5
Wayne Detroit Communication and Media Arts HS 62.7
Wayne Detroit Detroit School of Arts 61.3
Wayne Detroit Davis Aerospace High School 52.3
Wayne Detroit Cody Academy of Public Leadership 48.9
Wayne Detroit King High School 46.2
Wayne Detroit Detroit International Academy for Young Women 45.2
Wayne Detroit Southeastern High School 38.7
Wayne Detroit Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody 38.2
Wayne Detroit Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School @ Northwestern 37.2
Wayne Detroit Western International High School 37
Wayne Detroit East English Village Preparatory Academy 34.6
Wayne Detroit Mumford High School 34.5
Wayne Detroit Central High School 33.9
Wayne Detroit Pershing High School 28.6
Wayne Detroit Denby High School 28.4
Wayne Detroit Ford High School 26.5
Wayne Detroit Osborn Academy of Mathematics 20.9
Wayne Detroit Detroit City West Side Academy for Leadership Development 18.7
Houghton Adams Township Jeffers High School 54.8
Lenawee Addison Addison High School 60.1
Lenawee Adrian Adrian High School 58.5
Wayne Advanced Technology Academy Advanced Technology Academy 43.5
Oakland AGBU Alex-Marie Manoogian School AGBU Alex-Marie Manoogian School 82.5
Monroe Airport Airport Senior High School 56.9
Emmet Alanson Alanson Public School 68.8
St. Clair Algonac Algonac Junior/Senior High School 58.3
Allegan Allegan Allegan High School 52.4
Wayne Allen Park Allen Park High School 73.6
Ottawa Allendale Allendale High School 63.6
Gratiot Alma Alma Senior High School 57.9
Lapeer Almont Almont High School 73.2
Macomb Anchor Bay Anchor Bay High School 73.6
Washtenaw Ann Arbor Skyline High School 82.6
Washtenaw Ann Arbor Huron High School 82.4
Washtenaw Ann Arbor Pioneer High School 81.2
Washtenaw Ann Arbor Pathways To Success Academic Campus 45.5
Washtenaw Arbor Preparatory High School Arbor Preparatory High School 84.2
Macomb Armada Armada High School 68
Macomb Arts Academy in the Woods Arts Academy in the Woods 52.7
Calhoun Athens Athens Junior/Senor High School 58.8
Genesee Atherton Atherton Jr. / Sr. High School 51.5
Oakland Avondale Avondale High School 70.4
Huron Bad Axe Bad Axe High School 70
Lake Baldwin Baldwin Senior High School 51.4
Van Buren Bangor (Van Buren) Bangor High School 50
Baraga Baraga Baraga School 53.6
Delta Bark River Bark River-Harris Jr/Sr High School 75
Clinton Bath Bath High School 60.9
Calhoun Battle Creek Battle Creek Central High School 53.4
Isabella Beal City Beal City High School 76.2
Gladwin Beaverton Beaverton Junior/Senior High School 59.3
Monroe Bedford Bedford Senior High School 65.2
Genesee Beecher Beecher High School 53.6
Ionia Belding Belding High School 50.7
Eaton Bellevue Bellevue Jr/Sr High School 48.9
Genesee Bendle Bendle High School 52.6
Genesee Bentley Bentley Senior High School 49.4
Benzie Benzie Co. Central Benzie Central Sr. High School 62.7
Oakland Berkley Berkley High School 76.8
Gogebic Bessemer A.D. Johnston Jr/Sr High School 64.6
Mecosta Big Rapids Big Rapids High School 64.6
Saginaw Birch Run Birch Run High School 57.8
Oakland Birmingham Ernest W. Seaholm High School 86
Oakland Birmingham Wylie E. Groves High School 81.9
Ottawa Black River Public School Black River Public School Middle/High 77.4
Lenawee Blissfield Blissfield High School 58.3
Oakland Bloomfield Hills Bloomfield Hills High School 84.1
Van Buren Bloomingdale Bloomingdale Middle and High School 52.5
St. Clair Blue Water Middle College Blue Water Middle College Academy 68.9
Charlevoix Boyne City Boyne City High School 68.4
Oakland Bradford Academy Bradford Academy 42.1
Oakland Brandon Brandon High School 64.2
Gratiot Breckenridge Breckenridge High School 64.4
Dickinson Breitung Twp Kingsford High School 69.4
Saginaw Bridgeport-Spaulding Bridgeport High School 39.2
Berrien Bridgman Bridgman High School 74.1
Livingston Brighton Brighton High School 80.7
Chippewa Brimley Brimley Jr./Sr. High 65.6
Lenawee Britton Deerfield Britton Deerfield Schools-Britton Building 59.2
Branch Bronson Bronson Jr/Sr High School 59.5
Sanilac Brown City Brown City High School 57.8
Berrien Buchanan Buchanan High School 62.8
Midland Bullock Creek Bullock Creek High School 67.9
Shiawassee Byron Byron Area High School 57.7
Kent Byron Center Byron Center High School 71.5
Wexford Cadillac Cadillac Senior High School 64.9
Kent Caledonia Caledonia High School 70
Houghton Calumet Calumet High School 48.5
Hillsdale Camden-Frontier Camden-Frontier High School 54.2
St. Clair Capac Capac High School 61.9
Genesee Carman-Ainsworth Genesee Early College 86.9
Genesee Carman-Ainsworth Carman-Ainsworth High School 64.1
Genesee Carman-Ainsworth Mott Middle College High School 49.4
Tuscola Caro Caro High School 55.3
Saginaw Carrollton Carrollton High School 56.6
Montcalm Carson City-Crystal Carson City-Crystal High School 45.9
Tuscola Cass City Cass City Jr. and Sr. High School 65.3
Cass Cassopolis Ross Beatty High School 58.9
Kent Cedar Springs Cedar Springs High School 57
Macomb Center Line Center Line High School 54.7
Washtenaw Central Academy Central Academy 91.1
Montcalm Central Montcalm Central Montcalm High School 59
St. Joseph Centreville Centreville Jr. /Sr. High School 56.7
Wayne Cesar Chavez Academy Cesar Chavez High School 43.5
Wayne Chandler Park Academy Chandler Park Academy - High School 59.2
Charlevoix Charlevoix Charlevoix Middle/ High School 67.7
Eaton Charlotte Charlotte Senior High School 59.1
Cheboygan Cheboygan Cheboygan Area High School 67
Washtenaw Chelsea Chelsea High School 80
Saginaw Chesaning Union Chesaning Union High School 70.8
Mecosta Chippewa Hills Chippewa Hills High School 58.6
Macomb Chippewa Valley Dakota High School 83.7
Macomb Chippewa Valley Chippewa Valley High School 71.6
Clare Clare Clare High School 68
Wayne Clarenceville Clarenceville High School 54.3
Oakland Clarkston Clarkston High School 74.2
Oakland Clawson Clawson High School 57.2
Kalamazoo Climax-Scotts Climax-Scotts High School 67
Lenawee Clinton Clinton High School 71.7
Macomb Clintondale Clintondale High School 45.8
Wayne Clintondale Creative Learning Center - Dearborn 27.1
Genesee Clio Clio Area High School 57.6
Branch Coldwater Coldwater High School 58.5
Midland Coleman Coleman Junior/Senior High School 54.5
St. Joseph Colon Colon High School 52.3
Jackson Columbia Columbia Central High School 65.6
Kalamazoo Comstock Comstock High School 63.1
Kent Comstock Park Comstock Park High School 69.8
Jackson Concord Concord High School 66.1
Macomb Conner Creek Academy East Conner Creek Academy East - Michigan Collegiate 37
St. Joseph Constantine Constantine High School 58.2
Ottawa Coopersville Coopersville High School 64.1
Wayne Cornerstone Health and Technology School Cornerstone Health and Technology School 60.4
Shiawassee Corunna Corunna High School 54.4
Berrien Countryside Academy Countryside Academy - Middle/High School 56.3
Crawford Crawford AuSable Grayling High School 54.5
Wayne Crestwood Crestwood High School 82
Mecosta Crossroads Charter Academy Crossroads Charter Academy (7-12) 58.5
Sanilac Croswell-Lexington Croswell-Lexington High School 61.6
Ingham Dansville Dansville High School 63.3
Genesee Davison Davison High School 68.3
Wayne Dearborn Dearborn High School 84.5
Wayne Dearborn Henry Ford Early College 83
Wayne Dearborn Fordson High School 80.7
Wayne Dearborn Edsel Ford High School 71.8
Wayne Dearborn Heights #7 Annapolis High School 58.1
Van Buren Decatur Decatur High School 57.6
Sanilac Deckerville Deckerville Community High School 57.6
Barry Delton-Kellogg Delton-Kellogg High School 57.4
Wayne Detroit Community Schools Detroit Community Schools - High School 39.6
Wayne Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice 40.5
Wayne Detroit Edison Public School Academy Detroit Edison Public School Academy - High School 76.7
Wayne Detroit Public Safety Academy Detroit Public Safety Academy 30.4
Clinton DeWitt DeWitt High School 80.4
Washtenaw Dexter Dexter High School 85.1
Houghton Dollar Bay-Tamarack Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area K12 School 59
Cass Dowagiac Union Union High School 56.9
Lapeer Dryden Dryden High School 64.5
Monroe Dundee Dundee Community High School 62.3
Shiawassee Durand Durand Area High School 52.9
St. Clair East China St. Clair High School 73.4
St. Clair East China Marine City High School 66.8
Macomb East Detroit Eastpointe High School 37.9
Kent East Grand Rapids East Grand Rapids High School 85.6
Jackson East Jackson East Jackson High School 55.8
Charlevoix East Jordan East Jordan Middle/High School 64.4
Ingham East Lansing East Lansing High School 82
Eaton Eaton Rapids Eaton Rapids High School 56.5
Wayne Ecorse Ecorse Community High School 28.1
Cass Edwardsburg Edwardsburg High School 62.5
Antrim Elk Rapids Elk Rapids High School 81.8
Huron Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker Laker High School 65.5
Delta Escanaba Escanaba Area Public High School 69.4
Osceola Evart Public Schools Evart High School 37.9
Oakland Farmington North Farmington High School 85.6
Oakland Farmington Harrison High School 80.8
Oakland Farmington Farmington High School 80.4
Oakland Farmington Farmington Central High School 24.1
Clare Farwell Farwell High School 43.2
Allegan Fennville Fennville Public High School 53
Genesee Fenton Fenton Senior High School 77.6
Oakland Ferndale Ferndale High School 66.9
Oakland Ferndale University High School 54.2
Macomb Fitzgerald Fitzgerald Senior High School 55
Wayne Flat Rock Flat Rock Community High School 61.4
Livingston FlexTech High School FlexTech High School 31
Oakland FlexTech High School - Novi FlexTech High School - Novi 27.9
Genesee Flint Southwestern Classical Academy 62.7
Genesee Flint Northwestern High School 39.6
Genesee Flushing Flushing High School 74.3
Kalkaska Forest Area Forest Area High School 43
Kent Forest Hills Northern High School 83.9
Kent Forest Hills Central High School 83.5
Kent Forest Hills Eastern High School 82.7
Iron Forest Park Forest Park School 72.6
Livingston Fowlerville Fowlerville High School 61.9
Saginaw Frankenmuth Frankenmuth High School 81.4
Benzie Frankfort-Elberta Frankfort High School 66.1
Macomb Fraser Fraser High School 69.7
Saginaw Freeland Freeland Middle School/High School 83.2
Newaygo Fremont Fremont High School 62.7
Wayne Frontier International Academy Frontier International Academy 60.6
Muskegon Fruitport Fruitport High School 57.9
Gratiot Fulton Fulton High School 62.2
Kalamazoo Galesburg-Augusta Galesburg-Augusta High School 68.8
Wayne Garden City Garden City High School 59
Wayne Garden City Cambridge High School 10.8
Otsego Gaylord Gaylord High School/Voc. Bldg. 58.4
Genesee Genesee Genesee High School 47.7
Wayne Gibraltar Oscar A. Carlson High School 69.7
Delta Gladstone Gladstone Area High School 68
Gladwin Gladwin Gladwin High School 66.7
Leelanau Glen Lake Glen Lake Community School 71.6
Van Buren Gobles Gobles High School 54.5
Kent Godfrey-Lee Lee High School 47
Kent Godwin Heights Godwin Heights Senior High School 58.8
Genesee Goodrich Goodrich High School 75.7
Genesee Grand Blanc Grand Blanc Community High School 74.1
Ottawa Grand Haven Grand Haven High School 70.9
Eaton Grand Ledge Grand Ledge High School 73.7
Kent Grand Rapids City Middle/High School 92.8
Kent Grand Rapids Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy 71.4
Kent Grand Rapids Innovation Central High School 53.5
Kent Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills High School 45.3
Kent Grand Rapids Union High School 41.6
Kent Grand River PreparatoryHigh School Grand River Preparatory High School 74.6
Kent Grandville Grandville High School 70.4
Newaygo Grant Grant High School 53.7
Jackson Grass Lake Grass Lake High School 70.5
Ingham Great Lakes Cyber Academy Great Lakes Cyber Academy 26.7
Montcalm Greenville Greenville Senior High School 61.1
Wayne Grosse Ile Grosse Ile High School 82
Wayne Grosse Pointe Grosse Pointe South High School 85.7
Wayne Grosse Pointe Grosse Pointe North High School 84.8
Kalamazoo Gull Lake Gull Lake High School 73.8
Marquette Gwinn Gwinn Middle/High School 60
Allegan Hamilton Hamilton High School 56.9
Wayne Hamtramck Hamtramck High School 73.1
Wayne Hamtramck Horizon High School 35.1
Houghton Hancock Hancock Middle/High School 68.5
Jackson Hanover-Horton Hanover-Horton High School 71.9
Huron Harbor Beach Harbor Beach Community High School 73.9
Emmet Harbor Springs Harbor Springs High School 71.3
Calhoun Harper Creek Harper Creek High School 61.5
Wayne Harper Woods Harper Woods High School 53.3
Clare Harrison Harrison Community High School 57.6
Oceana Hart Hart High School 63.9
Van Buren Hartford Hartford High School 63
Livingston Hartland Hartland High School 78.1
Ingham Haslett Haslett High School 79.3
Barry Hastings Hastings High School 55.5
Oakland Hazel Park Hazel Park High School 36.9
Saginaw Hemlock Hemlock High School 69.3
Wayne Henry Ford Academy Henry Ford Academy 73.3
Wayne Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (PSAD) Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (PSAD) 59.8
Newaygo Hesperia Hesperia High School 52
Hillsdale Hillsdale Hillsdale High School 62.6
Ottawa Holland Holland High School 53.8
Oakland Holly Holly High School 56.5
Ingham Holt Holt Senior High - North Campus 73.8
Muskegon Holton Holton High School 57.2
Calhoun Homer Homer Community High School 58.4
Allegan Hopkins Hopkins High School 47.4
Roscommon Houghton Lake Houghton Lake High School 63.5
Houghton Houghton-Portage Houghton Central High School 70.9
Livingston Howell Howell High School 68.7
Lenawee Hudson Hudson Area High School 55.2
Ottawa Hudsonville Hudsonville High School 68.8
Wayne Huron Huron High School 66
Oakland Huron Valley Milford High School 72.6
Oakland Huron Valley Lakeland High School 71.6
Monroe Ida Ida High School 69.3
Lapeer Imlay City Imlay City High School 60.4
Cheboygan Inland Lakes Inland Lakes Secondary School 64.7
Genesee International Academy Flint International Academy of Flint (K-12) 63.3
Ionia Ionia Ionia High School 53.9
Dickinson Iron Mountain Iron Mountain High School 73.5
Gogebic Ironwood Luther L. Wright K-12 School 80
Marquette Ishpeming Ishpeming High School 65.2
Gratiot Ithaca Ithaca High School 66.7
Jackson Jackson Jackson High School 59.8
Wayne Jalen Rose Leadership Academy Jalen Rose Leadership Academy 67.6
Monroe Jefferson Jefferson High School 64.5
Ottawa Jenison Jenison High School 69.1
Otsego Jo-Lewiston Johannesburg-Lewiston High School 65.2
Hillsdale Jonesville Jonesville High School 57.8
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Central High School 75.3
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Loy Norrix High School 73.2
Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Phoenix Alternative High School 31
Manistee Kaleva Norman Dickson Brethren High School 48.9
Kalkaska Kalkaska Kalkaska High School 55.9
Genesee Kearsley Kearsley High School 61.6
Kent Kelloggsville Kelloggsville High School 55
Kent Kenowa Hills Kenowa Hills High School 63.7
Kent Kent City Kent City High School 57.3
Kent Kentwood East Kentwood High School 65.4
Grand Traverse Kingsley Kingsley Area High School 61.8
Tuscola Kingston Kingston High School 46.6
Shiawassee Laingsburg Laingsburg High School 64.4
Missaukee Lake City Lake City High School 50.7
Genesee Lake Fenton Lake Fenton High School 64.8
Oakland Lake Orion Lake Orion Community High School 79.1
Macomb Lake Shore (Macomb) Lake Shore High School 59.5
Berrien Lakeshore (Berrien) Lakeshore High School 72.6
Calhoun Lakeview (Calhoun) Lakeview High School 66.1
Macomb Lakeview (Macomb) Lakeview High School 68.2
Montcalm Lakeview (Montcalm) Lakeview High School 54.6
Genesee LakeVille LakeVille High School 54
Barry Lakewood Lakewood High School 60.8
Oakland Lamphere Lamphere High School 60.8
St. Clair Landmark Academy Landmark Academy 43.5
Macomb L'Anse Creuse L'Anse Creuse High School - North 75
Macomb L'Anse Creuse L'Anse Creuse High School 70.5
Ingham Lansing J.W. Sexton High School 58.2
Ingham Lansing Eastern High School 58.1
Ingham Lansing Everett High School 56.1
Lapeer Lapeer Lapeer High School 59.7
Van Buren Lawrence Lawrence Jr/Sr High School 58.8
Van Buren Lawton Lawton High School 53.4
Ingham Leslie Leslie High School 62.1
Washtenaw Lincoln Lincoln Senior High School 58.9
Wayne Lincoln Park Lincoln Park High School 38.5
Genesee Linden Linden High School 70.4
Wayne Livonia Stevenson High School 80.9
Wayne Livonia Churchill High School 79.3
Wayne Livonia Franklin High School 68.7
Kent Lowell Lowell Senior High School 70.5
Mason Ludington Ludington High School 65.2
Lenawee Madison (Lenawee) Madison High School 66.2
Oakland Madison (Oakland) Madison High School 58.2
Genesee Madison Academy Madison Academy - High School 39.3
Antrim Mancelona Mancelona High School 51.9
Washtenaw Manchester Manchester Middle/High School 76
Manistee Manistee Manistee Middle High School 64.9
Schoolcraft Manistique Manistique Middle and High School 70.8
Wexford Manton Manton Consolidated High School 50
Eaton Maple Valley Maple Valley Jr/Sr High School 40.1
Cass Marcellus Marcellus High School 57
Osceola Marion Marion High School 43.8
Sanilac Marlette Marlette Jr./Sr. High School 65.1
Marquette Marquette Marquette Senior High School 78.4
Calhoun Marshall Marshall High School 70.1
St. Clair Marysville Marysville High School 72.5
Ingham Mason (Ingham) Mason High School 69.3
Monroe Mason (Monroe) Mason Senior High School 54.7
Mason Mason Co. Central Mason County Central H.S. 51.9
Van Buren Mattawan Mattawan High School 79.3
Tuscola Mayville Mayville High School 53.2
Missaukee McBain McBain Jr/Sr High School 50.5
Wayne Melvindale-N. Allen Park Melvindale High School 51.8
St. Clair Memphis Memphis Junior/Senior High School 52.2
St. Joseph Mendon Mendon Middle/High School 66.9
Menominee Menominee Menominee High School 67.5
Midland Meridian Meridian Early College High School 52.1
Saginaw Merrill Merrill High School 46.6
Wexford Mesick Mesick Consolidated Jr/Sr High School 45.2
Jackson Michigan Center Michigan Center Jr/Sr High School 56.4
Ingham Michigan Connections Academy Michigan Connections Academy 34.9
Manistee Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy 23.6
Kent Michigan Virtual Charter Academy Michigan Virtual Charter Academy 31.1
Midland Midland H.H. Dow High School 79.3
Midland Midland Midland High School 74.9
Monroe Milan Milan High School 69.8
Tuscola Millington Millington High School 50
Oscoda Mio-AuSable Mio-AuSable High School 58.6
Muskegon Mona Shores Mona Shores High School 69
Monroe Monroe Monroe High School 58.1
Montcalm Montabella Montabella Junior/Senior High 52.7
Muskegon Montague Montague High School 54.4
Genesee Montrose Hill-McCloy High School 58.7
Lenawee Morenci Morenci Middle and High School 51.1
Mecosta Morley Stanwood Morley Stanwood High School 47.4
Genesee Mt. Morris E.A. Johnson Memorial H.S. 46.8
Isabella Mt. Pleasant Mt. Pleasant Senior High School 72.7
Alger Munising Munising High and Middle School 69
Muskegon Muskegon Muskegon High School 55.1
Jackson Napoleon Napoleon High School 65.5
Marquette Negaunee Negaunee High School 74.2
Berrien New Buffalo New Buffalo Senior High School 63.8
Macomb New Haven New Haven High School 52.9
Newaygo Newaygo Newaygo High School 49.5
Kent NexTech High School NexTech High School 47.7
Marquette NICE Westwood High School 66
Berrien Niles Niles Senior High School 57.7
Lapeer North Branch North Branch High School 56.6
Huron North Huron North Huron School 60.7
Muskegon North Muskegon North Muskegon High School 77.8
Kent Northview Northview High School 68.5
Wayne Northville Northville High School 89.4
Jackson Northwest Northwest High School 61.5
Dickinson Norway-Vulcan Norway High School 68.1
Oakland Novi Novi High School 84.2
Oakland Oak Park Oak Park High School 40.4
Wayne Oakland International Oakland International Academy - High School 46.1
Muskegon Oakridge Oakridge High School 57.1
Ingham Okemos Okemos High School 82.5
Wayne Old Redford Academy Old Redford Academy - High 49.1
Eaton Olivet Olivet High School 56.6
Presque Isle Onaway Onaway Senior High School 65.6
Manistee Onekama Onekama Consolidated Schools 66
Lenawee Onsted Onsted Community High School 66.4
Ontonagon Ontonagon Ontonagon Area School 61.3
Muskegon Orchard View Orchard View High School 62.5
Iosco Oscoda Oscoda Area High School 53.8
Allegan Otsego Otsego High School 68.1
Clinton Ovid-Elsie Ovid-Elsie High School 54.5
Shiawassee Owosso Owosso High School 53.1
Oakland Oxford Oxford High School 73.6
Kalamazoo Parchment Parchment High School 70.1
Van Buren Paw Paw Paw Paw High School 64
Sanilac Peck Peck Jr./Sr. High School 52.4
Emmet Pellston Pellston Middle/High School 64.4
Calhoun Pennfield Pennfield Senior High School 57.3
Shiawassee Perry Perry High School 57.4
Emmet Petoskey Petoskey High School 68.5
Livingston Pinckney Pinckney Community High School 72.4
Osceola Pine River Pine River Area Middle/High School 54.5
Hillsdale Pittsford Pittsford Area High School 47.3
Allegan Plainwell Plainwell High School 73.3
Wayne Plymouth-Canton Salem High School 86.8
Wayne Plymouth-Canton Plymouth High School 86.3
Wayne Plymouth-Canton Canton High School 86.3
Wayne Plymouth-Canton Starkweather Academy @ Fiegel 33.5
Oakland Pontiac Pontiac High School 31.8
Oakland Pontiac Academy for Excellence Pontiac Academy for Excellence - High School 31.7
St. Clair Port Huron Port Huron Northern High School 59.5
St. Clair Port Huron Port Huron High School 48.8
Kalamazoo Portage Portage Central High School 81.5
Kalamazoo Portage Portage Northern High School 77.4
Ionia Portland Portland High School 61.5
Presque Isle Posen Posen Consolidated High School 52.9
Eaton Potterville Potterville High School 53.3
Branch Quincy Quincy High School 62.6
Muskegon Ravenna Ravenna High School 54.8
Hillsdale Reading Reading High School 51
Wayne Redford Union Redford Union High School 49.3
Osceola Reed City Reed City High School 43.3
Tuscola Reese Reese High School 63.3
Muskegon Reeths-Puffer Reeths-Puffer High School 55.5
Macomb Richmond Richmond Community High School 62.8
Wayne River Rouge River Rouge High School 42
Berrien River Valley River Valley Middle/High School 50.9
Wayne Riverside Academy Riverside Academy - West Campus 71.6
Wayne Riverview Riverview Community High School 68.8
Oakland Rochester Rochester Adams High School 88.3
Oakland Rochester Stoney Creek High School 84.7
Oakland Rochester Rochester High School 80.8
Oakland Rochester Alternative Center for Education 29.1
Kent Rockford Rockford High School 77.7
Presque Isle Rogers City Rogers City High School 74.2
Macomb Romeo Romeo High School 77
Wayne Romulus Romulus Senior High School 51.1
Roscommon Roscommon Roscommon High School 69.9
Macomb Roseville Roseville High School 41.5
Oakland Royal Oak Royal Oak High School 76
Chippewa Rudyard Rudyard Area Schools 54
Saginaw Saginaw Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy 88.2
Saginaw Saginaw Arthur Hill High School 40.8
Saginaw Saginaw Saginaw High School 40.3
Saginaw Saginaw Township Heritage High School 70
Saginaw Saginaw Township Mackinaw High School 25.9
Washtenaw Saline Saline High School 85.6
Lenawee Sand Creek Sand Creek High School 66.8
Sanilac Sandusky Sandusky Junior/Senior High School 56.9
Ionia Saranac Saranac Jr/Sr High School 60.1
Allegan Saugatuck Saugatuck High School 68.4
Chippewa Sault Ste. Marie Sault Area High School 64.3
Kalamazoo Schoolcraft Schoolcraft High School 71.9
Oceana Shelby Shelby High School 64.5
Isabella Shepherd Shepherd High School 60.3
Van Buren South Haven South Haven High School 64.1
Macomb South Lake South Lake High School 62.3
Oakland South Lyon South Lyon East High School 80.2
Wayne South Redford Lee M. Thurston High School 59.2
Oakland Southfield University High School Academy 94
Wayne Southgate Southgate Anderson High School 64.1
Kent Sparta Sparta Senior High School 56.6
Ottawa Spring Lake Spring Lake High School 76.3
Jackson Springport Springport High School 54
Saginaw St. Charles St. Charles Community Middle/High School 63.7
Mackinac St. Ignace LaSalle High School 69.6
Clinton St. Johns St. Johns High School 69.2
Berrien St. Joseph St. Joseph High School 73.5
Gratiot St. Louis St. Louis High School 57.3
Wayne Star International Academy Star International Academy 87.2
Menominee Stephenson Stephenson Middle/High School 65.5
Ingham Stockbridge Stockbridge Jr/Sr High School 55.5
St. Joseph Sturgis Sturgis High School 57.7
Wayne Summit Academy North Summit Academy North High School 61.1
Saginaw Swan Valley Swan Valley High School 74.8
Genesee Swartz Creek Swartz Creek High School 67.6
Luce Tahquamenon Newberry High School 64.1
Iosco Tawas Tawas Area High School 67.2
Wayne Taylor John F. Kennedy High School 53.6
Wayne Taylor Truman High School 44.4
Lenawee Tecumseh Tecumseh High School 74.1
Barry Thornapple Kellogg Thornapple Kellogg High School 59.7
St. Joseph Three Rivers Three Rivers High School 57.2
Grand Traverse Traverse City West Senior High 73.3
Grand Traverse Traverse City Central High School 71.5
Wayne Trenton Trenton High School 72.1
Montcalm Tri County Tri County Senior High School 46.4
Wayne Trillium Academy Trillium Academy 64.8
Oakland Troy Athens High School 86.2
Oakland Troy Troy High School 85.6
Huron Ubly Ubly Community High School 60.7
Branch Union City Union City High School 55.3
Tuscola Unionville-Sebewaing Unionville-Sebewaing High School 71.5
Wayne Universal Academy Universal Academy 58.3
Wayne University Preparatory Academy (PSAD) University Preparatory Academy (PSAD) - High School 67.8
Wayne University Preparatory Science and Math (PSAD) University Preparatory Science and Math (PSAD) High School 68
Macomb Utica Eisenhower High School 87.2
Macomb Utica Adlai Stevenson High School 81.9
Macomb Utica Henry Ford II High School 79.2
Macomb Utica Utica High School 76.6
Macomb Utica UCS Alternative Learning Center 25.9
Wayne Van Buren Belleville High School 60.6
Macomb Van Dyke Lincoln High School 35.2
Jackson Vandercook Lake Vandercook Lake High School 51.2
Tuscola Vassar Vassar Senior High School 60.4
Montcalm Vestaburg Vestaburg Community High School 50.9
Kalamazoo Vicksburg Vicksburg High School 74.8
Wayne Voyageur Academy Voyageur College Prep 52.7
Oakland Walled Lake Walled Lake Northern High School 78.7
Oakland Walled Lake Walled Lake Central High School 78.5
Oakland Walled Lake Walled Lake Western High School 75.7
Macomb Warren Consolidated Sterling Heights Senior H.S. 76.3
Macomb Warren Consolidated Warren Mott High School 73.7
Macomb Warren Consolidated Cousino Senior High School 73.1
Macomb Warren Consolidated Warren Consolidated Community High School 21.4
Macomb Warren Woods Warren Woods Tower High School 64
Washtenaw Washtenaw Technical Middle College Washtenaw Technical Middle College 77.9
Oakland Waterford Waterford Kettering High School 63.4
Oakland Waterford Waterford Mott High School 58
Berrien Watervliet Watervliet Senior High School 61.7
Eaton Waverly Waverly Senior High School 60.4
Allegan Wayland Union Wayland High School 57.4
Wayne Wayne-Westland John Glenn High School 58.7
Wayne Wayne-Westland Wayne Memorial High School 51.2
Ingham Webberville Webberville High School 49.5
Kent Wellspring Preparatory High School Wellspring Preparatory High School 70.3
Oakland West Bloomfield West Bloomfield High School 84.5
Ogemaw West Branch-Rose City Ogemaw Heights High School 62.1
Iron West Iron West Iron County High School 56.6
Kent West MI Academy of Environmental Science West MI Academy of Environmental Science 61.2
Kent West Michigan Aviation Academy West Michigan Aviation Academy 70.3
Ottawa West Ottawa West Ottawa High School Campus 59.7
Jackson Western Western High School 70.1
Wayne Westwood Robichaud Senior High School 39.7
Genesee Westwood Heights Hamady Community High School 55.4
Genesee Westwood Heights Academy West Alternative Education 15.6
Newaygo White Cloud White Cloud High School 46.6
St. Joseph White Pigeon White Pigeon Jr/Sr High School 55.6
Muskegon Whitehall Whitehall Senior High School 60.3
Washtenaw Whitmore Lake Whitmore Lake High School 65.2
Iosco Whittemore-Prescott Whittemore-Prescott Jr/Sr High School 42.9
Ingham Williamston Williamston High School 78.4
Wayne Woodhaven-Brownstown Woodhaven High School 72.1
Wayne Wyandotte Roosevelt High School 58.5
Kent Wyoming Wyoming High School 48.7
St. Clair Yale Yale Senior High School 61.1
Washtenaw Ypsilanti ACTech High School 50.3
Ottawa Zeeland Zeeland East High School 69.7
Ottawa Zeeland Zeeland West High School 65.2
Alpena Alpena Alpena High School 66.5
Montmorency Hillman Hillman Community Jr/Sr High School 64.7
Alcona Alcona Alcona Community High School 57
Berrien Berrien Springs Berrien Springs High School 66.4
Berrien Brandywine Brandywine Senior High School 61
Berrien Coloma Coloma High School 56.6
Berrien Eau Claire Eau Claire High School 49.2
Berrien Benton Harbor Benton Harbor High School 40.9
Bay Essexville-Hampton Garber High School 74.5
Bay Bay City Bay City Western High School 73.1
Bay Bangor Twp (Bay) John Glenn High School 71.9
Arenac Standish-Sterling Standish-Sterling Central Jr/Sr High School 60.3
Bay Pinconning Pinconning High School 60
Arenac Au Gres-Sims Au Gres-Sims High School 59.6
Bay Bay City Bay City Central High School 57.5

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 school Any college Four-year Two-year
< 25 % 76.9 % 54.9 % 22.1 %
25-40 % 65 38.9 26.2
40-55 % 59.9 34 25.9
> 55% 54 27.8 26.2

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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