Student Mobility and High School Graduation

Previous research shows that student mobility may have harmful effects on student educational and health outcomes, as well as social development. Student mobility remains a challenge in Oregon, and OCID has published a series of analyses on Oregon’s high school class of 2020 that identified midyear school transitions as 1 of the top 3 barriers to 4-year graduation. OCID further explored this finding by developing several materials focused on midyear school transitions.

This brief builds upon OCID’s previous work and dives deeper into student mobility by exploring the association between different school transition types on graduation rates for different student populations. This analysis also identifies opportunities for policy and programmatic approaches that may address the root causes of student mobility and better support mobile students.

Highlighted Key Findings

School transitions for reasons outside of normal grade promotion were a common experience, and students often experienced more than 1 transition.

Of the almost 90,000 students included in this analysis, 72% of students experienced a school transition at some point during grades K through 12.

Graduation rates (defined here as graduation within 5 years of entering 9th grade) were lower among students with school transitions, especially those who had experienced a midyear transition.

Overall, the graduation rate for students who had experienced at least 1 transition (mobile students) was 74%, compared with 94% for students who had not experienced any transitions (nonmobile students).

Students who experienced 1 or more midyear transitions had a significantly higher risk of not graduating compared with students who had not experienced any transitions, even after controlling for student and family characteristics. On the other hand, students who experienced 1 summer transition did not have a statistically increased risk of not graduating.

Featured Data Visualization

Graduation rates for students who experienced different transitions types


  • Students who experienced outside-district midyear transitions had the lowest graduation rate at 63%.
  • Across all types, students who experience transitions graduate at a lower rate than the overall cohort.

Related OCID Resources

Class of 2020: Midyear School Transitions

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Look at the Class of 2020: Midyear School Transitions analysis to learn about another main factor related to 4-year high school graduation.

Class of 2020: Foundational Analyses

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This set of foundational analyses examines available state data on the lifespan of students from birth to graduation age in 2020, including equity components and connections across multiple publicly funded programs.

Visualizing Oregon’s High School Class of 2020

Explore the lifespan of students and education outcomes by equity characteristics and indicators of income insecurity and family or housing instability.