America’s Promise Alliance launched the GradNation campaign in 2010, building on 105 dropout prevention summits we convened across the country to raise awareness and inspire action. GradNation is now a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to raise graduation rates and prepare all students for success.

This year, for the first time in the country's history, the national on-time high school graduation rate surpassed 80 percent. This figure is an important landmark on the road to fulfilling one of the GradNation campaign's goals: a 90 percent nationwide rate by the Class of 2020, with no school graduating fewer than 80 percent of its students on time. GradNation also aims for dramatic increases in postsecondary enrollment and graduation.

These goals reflect our commitment to providing the fundamental resources that children and youth need to thrive throughout the full continuum of their development. At the heart of this effort are the Five Promises: Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, Effective Education, and Opportunities to Make a Difference.



Stats and Goals

Graduation Challenge Facts

First, the good news: the national high school graduation rate is continuing its decade-long rise and has now reached 82.3 percent. However, too many students are still leaving high school without obtaining a diploma, severely diminishing their chances for a piece of the American dream and resulting in a lost opportunity for our economy and communities.


Key Areas of Work

Building a GradNation Summit

Held annually in Washington, DC, the Building a GradNation Summit is the premier event of GradNation, our campaign to raise high school graduation rates, and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce.


GradNation Community Summits

America’s Promise Alliance is working with local partners across the country to convene 100 GradNation Community Summits across the country through 2016. The GradNation Community Summits will accelerate progress towards reaching the GradNation campaign goals by fueling collaborative action to increase high school graduation rates.

Building a Grad Nation Report

The 2015 update of Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic showed that the U.S. is on pace to reach the GradNation goal of a 90 percent nationwide graduation rate by the Class of 2020. Developed by the Alliance for Excellent Education, America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, report identifies key factors that have led to this remarkable progress and outlines areas critical for continued improvements. 

GradNation State Activation Initiative

The GradNation State Activation initiative is a collaboration between America’s Promise Alliance and Pearson working to increase high school graduation rates to 90 percent. The three-year initiative focuses on increasing graduation rates by investing in three key things: encouraging statewide innovation and collaboration; sharing that knowledge and replicating what works; and developing successful models all states can replicate. is a primary online destination for those who want to learn about, connect to, and advance the GradNation campaign. Whether it’s finding information on core topics critical to increasing high school graduation rates, exploring ways to get involved in local efforts, engaging with a robust online community of stakeholders implementing dropout prevention efforts, or sharing stories and successful approaches, equips users to move the country closer to the day when all students leave high school ready for success.


GradNation Community Guidebook

While our country is making inspiring progress towards the GradNation goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020, much work remains to make every student college- and career-ready. To help communities reach that goal, America’s Promise Alliance has updated the successful GradNation Community Guidebook, a research-based toolkit that provides guidance and resources to people and organizations working to raise graduation rates and better support children and youth from birth through college.