College Attainment Rate Increases Slightly: State by State Analysis!

Dear Commons Community,

The number of 25 to 34-year-olds who have college degrees around the nation has gradually been increasing.  All told, the percentage of 25-34 year olds with some kind of postsecondary degree rose half a percentage point from 38.8 percent to 39.3 percent. America used to be No. 1 in the world for the percentage of adults with college degrees but has recently slid to 16th. President Obama has called for America to increase the number of degree-holders to 60 percent by the end of the decade.

In remarks prepared for  the summer meeting of the National Governors Association in Williamsburg, Va., on Friday, July 13, Education Secretary Arne Duncan praised governors for increasing college completion but also  challenged states to maintain support for higher education while urging colleges and universities to hold down tuition.

“Every capable, hard-working, and responsible student should be able to afford to go to college. That’s not a Democratic dream or a Republican one. It’s the American Dream,” Duncan said.

Duncan also released new numbers showing college attainment state-by-state based on census bureau data from 2009 to 2010.  According to a state-by-state breakdown by the Census Bureau, the top 5 states with highest attainment rates as of 2010 are:

  • Washington D.C.  (68.8%)
  • Massachusetts (54.3%)
  • North Dakota (50.8%)
  • Minnesota (49.8%)
  • New York (49.6%)

We will likely hear much more about college attainment and completion rates next year especially if President Barack Obama is re-elected.


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