Local Schools

How Four Local High Schools Stack Up in Scholarships for Seniors

The Herald requested data from the Jefferson County School District as to scholarships in the recent (2022-2023) senior classes for four North Jefferson high schools.

We used that data to compare Gardendale, Mortimer Jordan, Fultondale and Corner.

The District compiles three pieces of data on each school that we use here. We have also taken that data and made further calculations that we will notate throughout and that we add to enhance the larger picture of our comparison of the schools.

The data supplied by the District is:

  • Number of scholarships
  • Number of students who earn at least one scholarship
  • Total money earned (for all scholarships)

By calculation of the above data (plus additional data), the Herald added:

  • Average number of scholarships per student who had at least one scholarship
  • Average scholarship amount per student who had at least one scholarship
  • Percentage of senior class who received a scholarship

By District data, Mortimer Jordan had the most “number of scholarships” at 337, followed by Corner with 317, Gardendale with 256 and Fultondale with 78.

Mortimer Jordan was also tops in the category of “number of students who earned at least one scholarship” with 118, followed by Gardendale with 85, Corner with 75 and Fultondale with 34.

There is a significant difference in the category of “total money earned.” Gardendale at $10,253,930.00 is almost double the next closest, Mortimer Jordan that had $5,649,544.00. MJHS is followed closely by Corner with $5,589,636.00 and then Fultondale with $2,533,000.00.

The difference in scholarship dollars was significant to us at the Herald and so our first question was to the District asking whether the difference was due to, perhaps, athletic scholarships. We were told that while possible, the District could not tell us definitively as they only compile data for the three categories above for all high schools in the District.

While we didn’t get that answer, we did begin looking at the data and making further calculations.

We note that what we provide below is based on Herald calculations only and not supplied by the District, schools or the State.

We believe the calculations are reasonable as to data supplied and available.

To parse the data further, we needed a number we felt reasonable to use as to the number of students in each senior class. To make this calculation, we used information supplied by the Alabama Department of Education’s State Report Card as to total number of students in each of the four high schools for the 2021-2022 school years and divided that number by 4 to reach the number we used as for how many seniors would be in each senior class.

Alabama Department of Education’s State Report Card (2021-2022 school year data for total number of students in each school):

*We took the number below and divided by 4 (as the schools are 9-12th) to arrive at the number of seniors.

Corner – 498 (124 seniors)
Fultondale – 618 (154 seniors)
Mortimer Jordan – 836 (209 seniors)
Gardendale – 1,035 (258 seniors)

Based on the above, the average “number of scholarships for students who had at least one” was led by Corner with 4.22 per student. This was followed by Gardendale at 3.01, Mortimer Jordan at 2.85 and Fultondale at 2.29.

With that calculation, we looked for the average scholarship amount based on the data above.

Gardendale leads with an average of $40,054 per scholarship student, followed by Fultondale with $32,474, Corner at $17,632 and Mortimer Jordan at $16,764.

After mixing in District data and information from the Alabama Department of Education and using our own calculations, the Herald determined that we could find a percentage of each class that received scholarships:

Corner – 60% of senior class
Mortimer Jordan – 56% of senior class
Gardendale – 33% of senior class
Fultondale – 22% of senior class

We find the above as to the percentage of scholarships as to the class as a whole to be a key measure of how well the school is doing as to facilitating scholarships for the entire senior class.

Under this measure, based upon our calculations above, Corner High School and Mortimer Jordan High School facilitated the broader number of those opportunities for the 2022-2023 senior classes.