President Obama Calls for Increase in Graduation Rates!

Dear Commons Community,

Yesterday at the University of Texas, President Obama outlined his goal to raise the nation’s college graduation rate to 60 percent in just 10 years, adding at least 8 million graduates.   Citing data from the College Board, he indicated  that the United States ranks 12th globally in the percentage of a young adults who hold at least an associate’s degree and that 40.4 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds held such degrees in 2007, falling far short of other countries such as Canada  (55.8 percent), South Korea and Russia, both of which had 55.5 percent rates, according to statistics from the College Board.   A critical aspect of the data is that it reflects graduates in the 25 to 34 year old category.  Research of CUNY students conducted by Paul Attewell and David Lavin indicate many students do not graduate until much later in life (in their late 30 and 40s).  Regardless President Obama raises a good issue that those of us in higher education need to address and policy makers especially at the state level need to consider as they decide budgets for the large public university systems that are the major providers of higher education in this country.  A news report on President Obama’s speech is available at ABC News at:


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