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Where Are All the High-School Grads Going?

The latest national data shows that more students are getting their high-school diplomas than ever before. Just over 82 percent of the students who were high-school seniors during the 2013-14 year graduated, up from 81 percent the year before. The rate has inched up annually over the last few years, largely because of strides made by disadvantaged students—an accomplishment President Obama is likely to highlight in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

But that doesn’t mean more kids are going to college. Quite the opposite. Recently released numbers out of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center suggests that college-enrollment rates have actually decreased—and for the fourth straight year, all despite massive increases in federal aid for students who can’t afford tuition. The number of students enrolling in colleges and universities this year is 1.7 percent lower than it was last year.