(Undated) – Indiana’s college graduation rate is improving, but not at a fast enough rate to meet the state’s goals.
A new report out Thursday from the Lumina Foundation titled “A Stronger Foundation Through Higher Education” found that 33.8 percent of working-age Hoosiers ages 25-64 had a two- or four-year college degree in 2011.
The percentage may be up from 33.2 percent in 2010, however, Indiana still ranks 41st in the country in this category. The national average is 38.7 percent.
Percentage of adults ages 25-64 with at least an associate (two-year) degree in local counties:
Dearborn – 27.68 percent
Franklin – 28.15 percent
Ohio – 23.15 percent
Ripley – 26.41 percent
Switzerland – 15.18 percent
Indiana – 33.8 percent
The state’s goal is to have 60 percent of adult Hoosiers with a college degree or certificate by 2025. At the current rate, Indiana would only reach about 41 percent by 2025. The report’s authors suggested a step towards attaining 60 percent degree attainment.
“In 2011, more than 746,000 Indiana adults — 22 percent of the adult population — had gone to college but lacked either a two- or four-year degree. Encouraging and helping these adults to complete degrees would go a long way toward helping Indiana reach the 60 percent goal,” the report said.
The state must also close achievement gaps based on race, income, geography and other factors to make 60 percent attainment a reality.
There are good indicators that Indiana’s adult degree rate will see larger improvements in coming years. Among young adults ages 25-34, almost 37 percent had a four- or two-year degree. The figure was still behind the national rate for that age range, 40.1 percent.
“This suggests that young people in Indiana are getting the message that higher education is important to their future,” the report stated.
According to the Lumina Foundation, experts from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University say that by 2018, about 506,000 of the expected 930,000 job vacancies in Indiana will require postsecondary credentials.
The report can be viewed online at http://www.luminafoundation.org/newsroom/news_releases/2013-06-13.html.