When it comes to being ready for college Virginia students fare well.
Virginia did better than most of the nation in the A-C-T: a test students can take that measures college readiness.
Educators we spoke to say a newer emphasis on technical programs including STEM make better high school students.
Teachers say the state of Virginia has increased academic rigor, but localities have responded by giving students more hands-on resources.
They say that helps better prepare students for the rigors of a college classroom or the workplace.
"I think by the time you get to high school you have so many choices nowadays in some very specialized areas, you have different levels of classes, you have dual enrollment classes, you have AP Classes," said Joni Poff, Director of Secondary Education for Botetourt County Schools.
Local school districts also say strong partnerships with community colleges have also helped tremendously.