This paper assesses the patterns of selection into high school dropout and high school graduation using longitudinal data from South Africa. Employing a competing risks model, I estimate a reduced-form measure of self-selection and establish to what extent selection matters. Results suggest that individuals who choose to drop out of high school are not systematically different from those who complete high school education in terms of unobservables. Rather, the factors that drive selection into dropout and graduation are observable individual and family characteristics. This runs contrary to typical findings in developed countries, which suggest that high school dropouts are individuals with relatively low ability, low expectations, and a set of negative preferences.