Why Choose an Arts Education?

Did You Know?

(A few facts about an Arts education!)

1. Eighth graders who had high levels of arts engagement from kindergarten through elementary school showed higher test scores in science and writing than did students who had lower levels of arts engagement over the same period.

2. Students who had arts-rich experiences in high school were more likely than students without those experiences to complete a calculus course. Also, students who took arts courses in high school achieved a slightly higher grade-point average (GPA) in math than did other students.

3. In two separate databases, students who had arts-rich experiences in high school showed higher overall GPAs than did students who lacked those experiences. (Better GPAs were also observed among high-socioeconomic status students who had earned arts credits in high school: 3.17 on average, compared with 2.97 for the high socioeconomic status students who had earned few or no arts credits, and 2.84 for the full sample.)

4. High school students who earned few or no arts credits were 5 times more likely not to have graduated than students who earned many arts credits.

5. Both 8th grade and high school students who had high levels of arts engagement were more likely to aspire to college than were students with less arts engagement.

6. Arts-engaged high school students enrolled in competitive colleges and in four-year colleges in general at higher rates than did low-arts-engaged students. (Even among high-socioeconomic status students, college-going rates were higher if students had engaged in arts-rich experiences in high school, according to a separate database. 94% of the high-arts group went on to a 4 year college, versus 76% of the low-arts, high socioeconomic status group.

7. Students who had intensive arts experiences in high school were 3 times more likely than students who lacked those experiences to earn a bachelor’s degree. They also were more likely to earn “mostly A’s” in college. (Even among students of high socioeconomic status, those with a history or arts involvement earned “mostly A’s” at a higher rate than did students without an arts-rich background (55% versus 37%).

*Key findings taken from the National Endowment for the Arts study “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth, Research Report #55, 2012.

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