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Knowledge From the Field

A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education 2012

Published: March 2012

Publisher(s): Lumina Foundation

Funder(s): Lumina Foundation for Education

View Report (136 pages; 20.43MB; PDF)

Area of Focus: College and Career Preparation


The report assesses progress toward Lumina Foundationís goal that by the year 2025, 60 percent of Americans will have a high-quality postsecondary credential. Using Census data, the report details college attainment rates nationally, by state, and by county; rates by race/ethnicity, age, and level of education; and rankings of the largest metropolitan areas.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=The rate of Americans between the ages of 25 and 64 with a two- or four-year college degree is steadily increasing, but the pace of change is far too slow; in 2010, the college attainment rate was 38.3 percent, an increase from 37.9 percent in 2008.

=By population group, 59.4 percent of Asians, 43 percent of Whites, 26.8 percent of Blacks, 22.8 percent of Native Americans, and 19.2 percent of Hispanics completed a college degree.

=Among the 100 most populated metropolitan areas, the areas with the highest rate of degree attainment were the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area (54.4 percent), Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area (54 percent), and San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area (52.9 percent).

Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: College; Completion; Degree; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; University

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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