Washington on track to increase college completion to 60 percent by 2020

Using census data, the Department of Education released new numbers showing the progress states are making towards President Obama’s goal of increasing the nation’s percentage of college degrees to 60 percent by 2020.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan plans to address the new numbers at the National Governors Association meeting this Friday with the following statement:

“To meet the president’s goal for America to become No. 1 in the world for college graduates all of us—the federal government, states, and institutions—must work together. We’ve made some progress, but the combination of deep state budget cuts and rising tuition prices is pushing an affordable college education out of reach for middle class families. As the President has said, the countries that out-educate today will out-compete us tomorrow. The federal government has done a tremendous amount to increase the amount of aid available to students. But we need states and institutions to meet us halfway by doing more to keep college costs down.”

Between 2009 and 2010, Washington’s college completion percentage went down slightly from 41.6 percent to 40.9 percent. However, Washington is still on track to have a college completion rate between 60-62 percent by the end of the decade. Several Washington colleges and universities have had to raise tuition, which attributes to decreased degree attainment.

Click here to take a look at the college completion data.

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  1. Bob Roseth July 16, 2012

    “On track” in this context is misleading, since it’s not clear this train is going anywhere. Washington is on track only if you think the entire country is actually going to reach the goal of 60 percent completion by 2020. Is the nation on track to raise the completion rate to 60 percent? Only in your dreams! At Washington’s current rate of increase in completion, it will be some time in the next century, not the next decade! Although one optimistic way to look at this is that when you’re 47th in the country in granting degrees, the only place to go is up.


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