Study: 2 In 5 Americans Earning Degrees After High School

Career College Central summary:

  • America may have a shot at rejoining the world's most educated nations by 2025, according to a report released Monday by the . The Indianapolis-based foundation's annual report finds some encouraging data to counter the familiar story of a nation that is famed for its colleges and universities but trails many other countries when it comes to the percentage of people with a degree beyond high school.
  • The U.S. invented the idea of mass higher education in the 1800s, and it was the most educated nation pretty much until the 1970s. Then the rate of college attainment flattened, while other countries surged ahead. The U.S. now ranks 13th on the list of most educated nations.
  • Changing demographics, the rising cost of college tuition, decreasing state support and other factors led to that stagnation. In countries that have passed the U.S., the biggest change has been among young people. The — Korea, Japan, Canada and Russia — report that more than 50 percent of their young people have a degree beyond high school, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. By contrast, young adults in the U.S. are barely any more educated than older adults: About 40 percent of both groups have an associate, bachelor's or advanced degree.
  • Lumina has been a prominent advocate of raising that number to at least 60 percent by 2025. It's a target that President Obama supports.

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