The future of U.S. higher education, by the numbers

The future of U.S. higher education, by the numbers

Lumina_logoThe Indiana-based Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to improving higher education, specifically by increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality college degrees, certificates and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

report Lumina released last week examines a rise in the annual number of American college graduates since the end of the last century. In 1995, less than a quarter of American adults between the ages of 25 and 29 held a bachelor’s degree or higher. But between 1995 and last year, there’s been a 36% increase, with more than a third of this group having attained that level of higher education.

The report itself is impressively thorough in its scope, with state-by-state analyses and projections—for example, almost half of young Massachusetts adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared with just 20% in Nevada. And while the numbers look good, the Lumina Foundation contends that demand for well-trained and highly skilled workers is rising more rapidly than the educational system can meet.

The report also notes that significant race-based gaps persist, with Asians far at the forefront of degree holders and Hispanics and Native Americans lagging in the distance.

It’s a fascinating review of what education has looked like in the recent past and a prediction of where it’s heading in the near future. Does it look like what you expected? Let us know.

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