Jason Bearce, spokesman for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, advises me that details on what public institution Indiana high school students attend after graduation is provided only to the high schools, for their own use.
"Sharing that level of detail publicly raises student privacy considerations," he writes in an e-mail.
I'm not sure I would agree with that. The public reports don't assign remediation data to particular institutions, so it would be tough to conclude, for example, that all graduates of Smalltown High who attend Hometown U. required remedial math and English in college.
I do think it would be valuable to know how many graduates of each high school enrolled in the nearest college or university and how many moved across the state to enroll elsewhere. Colleges and universities, in fact, are eager to provide information about students to their hometown newspapers, albeit with permission.
I would also hope that individual schools use the private data on enrollment appropriately. It would be regrettable if high school guidance counselors steered their students toward a handful of state institutions just because that's where the majority of their graduates enroll. Indiana has a tremendous variety of colleges and universities. Every student deserves to learn what's available.
A new Public Agenda survey, "Can I Get a Little Advice Here?", finds young adults are generally critical of the college advising experience they received from their high school counselors. My own observation is that guidance programs need an overhaul.