Recent news articles have carried the headline that Milford's college-bound rate dipped compared to the previous calendar year. The headlines, however, don't tell the whole story.
First, let's look at the reported dip, from 60.0% in the 2010-2011 year to 59.3% in the 2011-2012. This dip is for 4 year college enrollment. Assuming 500 or so HS seniors in the city, this amounts to between 3 to 4 students less than the previous year have applied to 4-year colleges--hardly a huge dip.
Offsetting that ever-so-slight dip, however, is a 5-percentage point rise in students applying to 2-year colleges. Taken together, this represents over a 4-point increase in Milford students applying to either a 4- or 2-year college. The shift toward 2-year schools seems reasonable given the difficult economic climate experienced over the past few years.
In addition, Milford students attending top-tier universities far exceeded the targeted amount from the Board of Education 96 to 68, or 141% of target. The tough economy is likely to make this number drop as tuitions came due, but is impressive nevertheless.
On balance, the picture for Milford graduates appears to be more positive than negative.
Can things be improved? Absolutely. However, as with everything, the devil is in the details. It is important to look at the whole picture before arriving at an eye-catching headline conclusion.