While improving, US 2020 college completion goal not as close as expected
- A new analysis from the Pew Research Center reveals that the United States has made progress in its goal of 60% of Americans holding a degree from a two- or four-year institution by 2020, but remains behind the pace set by other developed nations.
- The total number of U.S. citizens aged 25-34 holding postsecondary degrees increased by 7% between 2009 and 2016, but at 48% overall, remains 10th in the world in college attainment.
- Among racial groups, only white and Asian students have passed or maintained above the 50% achievement threshold, despite similar gains made among African Americans and Hispanics.
This research underscores the continuing effort by all institutions to refocus admission and training modules to attract low-income and minority students, and it emphasizes just how drastic the increasing culture of admissions selectivity negatively impacts the goal of global competitiveness.
Advocacy for free tuition, competency-based education formats and credentialing are just some of the ways college leaders can improve their institutions' profiles to help in meeting the goal. Additionally, seeking and developing corporate partnerships to spur workforce development will be a major element of ensuring the numbers continue to increase, but result in postgraduate outcomes of stable earnings and career mobility.