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org Dropout Prevention


Executive 2
Summary 2

The
College
Completion
Agenda
2010
Progress Report
Acknowledgments
This report was written and edited by John Michael Lee, Jr. and Anita
Rawls, assistant research scientists at the College Board. The authors
would like to thank Wayne Camara, vice president of Research &
Development at the College Board; Thanos Patelis, vice president
of Research & Analysis Services at the College Board; Ellen Sawtell,
senior director of analysis services at the College Board; Sandy Baum,
independent policy analyst at the College Board; Kelcey Edwards, senior
research analyst at the College Board; and Jing Feng and Jun Li of
Fordham University, who provided analysis and research assistance for
this report. We would also like to thank Christen Pollock, vice president of
Advocacy at the College Board, for her unwavering support of this project.

We heartily acknowledge the efforts of these individuals in the process


of conducting this research. We also recognize that the responsibility for
the content of this report, including errors, lies solely with the authors.
The
College
Completion
Agenda
2010
Progress Report

John Michael Lee, Jr.


Anita Rawls
The Goal: Increase the proportion
of 25- to 34-year-olds who hold
an associate degree or higher
to 55 percent by the year 2025
in order to make America the
leader in educational attainment
in the world.

55%
by
2025
iii

One Recommendations So
Provide a program of voluntary
preschool education, universally Important They Cannot
available to children from low-
income families. Be Ignored
Two When the Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher
Education (subsequently referred to as the commission) convened in the
Improve middle and high school fall of 2008, the educational landscape included a number of issues that
college counseling. the commission’s members recognized as formidable challenges to those
students who aspire to enroll and succeed in college. The Commission’s
Three 2008 report, Coming to Our Senses: Education and the American Future,
Implement the best research- painted a disheartening portrait of recent trends in education: college and high
based dropout prevention school completion ranking had dropped dramatically; the proportion of adults
programs. with postsecondary credentials was not keeping pace with growth in other
industrialized nations; and significant disparities existed for low-income and
Four minority students. As such, the commission faced two key questions: What
must be done to improve the nation’s education system, and how will we
Align the K–12 education system
with international standards and know if the changes that are made are successful?
college admission expectations.
Echoing the findings of other key educational policymakers, the commission

Five declared that it is critical — and thus should be a primary goal — that 55 percent
of the nation’s young adults attain an associate degree or higher. The commission
Improve teacher quality and focus offered a 10-part action plan in the form of 10 recommendations.
on recruitment and retention.
The commission noted that these recommendations are so important they
Six must be measured on a regular basis to help us understand the state of the
educational landscape in the nation and how it changes over time. This report
Clarify and simplify the
admission process. is designed to illustrate the degree to which the nation is moving toward —
or away from — taking the necessary steps for ensuring an educated and

Seven enlightened citizenry.

Provide more need-based grant


aid while simplifying and making
financial aid processes more
transparent.

Eight
Keep college affordable.

Nine
Dramatically increase college
completion rates.

Ten
Provide postsecondary
opportunities as an essential
element of adult education
programs.
iv

The Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education

Commission Members
Gaston Caperton, President The College Board
William “Brit” Kirwan (Chair), Chancellor University System of Maryland
Jerome Lucido (Vice Chair), Vice Provost for Enrollment University of Southern California
Molly Broad, President American Council on Education
Joyce Brown, Manager of Secondary School Counselors Chicago Public Schools
Arlene Wesley Cash, Vice President for Enrollment Management Spelman College
Frank Chong, President Laney College
Carl Cohn, Former Superintendent San Diego Unified School District
Janice Doyle, Chief of Staff to Chancellor University System of Maryland
Susan Gendron, Commissioner Maine Department of Education
Barbara Gill, Director of Undergraduate Admissions University of Maryland
Natala “Tally” Hart, Senior Advisor for Economic Access The Ohio State University
Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President American Council on Education
Kati Haycock, President The Education Trust
Mary Lee Hoganson, Past President National Association for College Admission
Counseling

Don Hossler, Executive Associate Dean and Professor Indiana University


of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Joseph McDonald, President and Founder Salish Kootenai College
James Moeser, Chancellor Emeritus University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lester Monts, Senior Vice Provost University of Michigan
Charlene Nunley, President Emerita Montgomery College
Shirley Ort, Associate Provost and Director of Scholarships University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and Student Aid
Charles Reed, Chancellor California State University
Manuel Rivera, Former Deputy Secretary of Education New York State
Barbara Snyder, President Case Western Reserve University
Gordon Stanley, Director of Counseling Marist School
Bruce Walker, Vice Provost University of Texas at Austin
Gregory Williams, President City College of New York
James Wright, President Emeritus Dartmouth College
Mark Yudof, President University of California
College Board Staff
Tom Rudin, Senior Vice President
Wayne Camara, Vice President
Fred Dietrich, Vice President
Christen Pollock, Vice President
Bradley Quin, Executive Director
Sandy Baum, Independent Policy Analyst for the College Board Skidmore College
v

Contents
1 Continuing the Conversation: An Overview of the
Measurement of Progress on the Commission’s
Recommendations
9 Overall Goal of the Commission
10 Measuring the Goal: U.S. Educational Attainment Among 25- to
34-Year-Olds

15 Recommendation One: Provide a Program of Voluntary


Preschool Education, Universally Available to Children
from Low-Income Families
17 Percentage of 3- to 5-Year-Olds Enrolled in Preschool Programs
19 Percentage of 3- to 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in State-Funded Pre-K Programs
22 Percentage of 3- and 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start Programs

27 Recommendation Two: Improve Middle School and High


School Counseling
29 Student-to-Counselor Ratio
32 Statewide Comprehensive School Counseling Programs
34 Professional Development for Secondary School College Counselors
36 Percentage of Counselors’ Time Spent on Tasks

39 Recommendation Three: Implement the Best Research-Based


Dropout Prevention Programs
41 Graduation Rates for Public High School Students
43 National Status Dropout Rates (Non-Institutional)
47 National Status Dropout Rates (Institutional)
50 National Event Dropout Rates

55 Recommendation Four: Align the K–12 Education System


with International Standards and College Admission
Expectations
57 Percentage of Public High Schools Offering AP® or IB Courses in
the Four Core Subject Areas
62 Percentage of States with Alignment Between K–12 and Higher
Education Standards
66 Percentage of Students in Remedial Classes in College

69 Recommendation Five: Improve Teacher Quality and


Focus on Recruitment and Retention
72 State Encouragement and Support for Teacher Professional Development
vi

76 Percentage of Public School Teachers in Grades 9 Through 12 by Field


79 State Policies on Out-of-Field Teachers
82 Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees Earned in Education
85 Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Profession

89 Recommendation Six: Clarify and Simplify the


Admission Process
91 Percentage of Four-Year Colleges with Admission Applications Available
Online
94 Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Accept Admission Applications Online
97 Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Participate in National Application
Systems
101 Immediate Enrollment Rate of High School Graduates

107 Recommendation Seven: Provide More Need-Based Grant


Aid While Simplifying the Financial Aid System and
Making It More Transparent
110 Grant Aid for Students from Low-Income Families
113 Student Debt Levels
115 Simplifying the Federal Student Aid System and the Application Process
116 Implementation of Policies Designed to Provide Incentives for Institutions
to Promote Enrollment and Success of Low-Income and First-Generation
Students

117 Recommendation Eight: Keep College Affordable


119 State Appropriations to Fund Higher Education
123 Tuition, Fees and Other Costs of Attendance at Colleges and Universities
133 Net Price Students Pay for College
134 Changes in Family Income Levels
136 Earnings of College Graduates

139 Recommendation Nine: Dramatically Increase College


Completion Rates
141 Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates
146 Three-Year Graduation Rates of Associate Degree–Seeking Students
156 Six-Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking Students

167 Recommendation Ten: Provide Postsecondary Opportunities


as an Essential Element of Adult Education Programs
169 Educational Attainment for Adults Ages 25 to 64
174 Percentage of Adults with No High School Diploma Who Attained a GED
178 Enrollment in State-Administered Adult Education Programs
181 Enrollment of Nontraditional-Age Students in Postsecondary Education
vii

185 Appendix: Data Book


186 Overall Goal of the Commission
186 Recommendation One: Provide a Program of Voluntary Preschool
Education, Universally Available to Children from Low-Income Families
187 Recommendation Two: Improve Middle and High School Counseling
189 Recommendation Three: Implement the Best Research-Based Dropout
Prevention Programs
192 Recommendation Four: Align the K–12 Education System with International
Standards and College Admission Expectations
194 Recommendation Five: Improve Teacher Quality and Focus on Recruitment
and Retention
196 Recommendation Six: Clarify and Simplify the Admission Process
198 Recommendation Seven: Provide More Need-Based Grant Aid While
Simplifying and Making the Financial Aid Process More Transparent
200 Recommendation Eight: Keep College Affordable
202 Recommendation Nine: Dramatically Increase College Completion Rates
204 Recommendation Ten: Provide Postsecondary Opportunities as an
Essential Element of Adult Education Programs

206 List of Figures


completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Continuing the
Conversation:
An overview of the
measurement of progress
on the commission’s
recommendations
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Overview 2

The 10 Recommendations
The commission believes that American education is the nation’s greatest
strength and most powerful force for advancing the common good. To return
America to its place as the global leader in educational attainment, the
commission recommends the following 10-part action agenda:

One. Provide a program of voluntary preschool education, universally


available to children from low-income families, such that all children at
or below 200 percent of the official poverty line have a chance to enter school
ready to learn.

Two. Improve middle and high school college counseling by meeting


professional staffing standards for counselors and involving colleges and
universities in college planning.

Three. Implement the best research-based dropout prevention


programs, which include early identification of those students who are at
risk of dropping out and subsequently providing them a safety net.

Four. Align the K–12 education system with international standards


and college admission expectations so that all students are prepared for
future opportunities in education, work and life.

Five. Improve teacher quality and focus on recruitment and retention;


an education system can only be as good as its teachers.

Six. Clarify and simplify the admission process; a transparent and less
complex process will encourage more first-generation students to apply.

Seven. Provide more need-based grant aid while simplifying and


making financial aid processes more transparent; to minimize student
debt and at least keep pace with inflation, make financial aid processes more
transparent and predictable, and provide institutions with incentives to enroll
and graduate more low-income and first-generation students.

Eight. Keep college affordable by controlling college costs, using available


aid and resources wisely, and insisting that state governments meet their
obligations for funding higher education.

Nine. Dramatically increase college completion rates by reducing


the number of dropouts, easing transfer processes and using data-based
approaches to improve completion rates at both two- and four-year institutions.

Ten. Provide postsecondary opportunities as an essential element


of adult education programs by supplementing existing basic skills training
with a new “honors GED” and through better coordination of existing adult
education, veterans benefits, outreach programs and student aid.
3 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Completion at Every Stage


In order to reach the goal of 55 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds obtaining
an associate degree or higher by the year 2025, the commission has put forth
a 10-part recommendation that is aimed at strengthening the educational
pipeline at every stage throughout a student’s trajectory from preschool
to college completion.

Preschool Elementary Middle School High School College

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Overview 4

The Commission’s Approach


to Assessing the Current Status
on the Recommendations
The commission’s goal of 55 percent of young adults receiving a postsecondary
credential by 2025 can be measured on a regular basis, and this annual
publication can be used to measure progress toward this goal. The purpose
of this document is to measure or demonstrate the need to establish an
appropriate measure of the commission’s goal and recommendations. The
measures identified in this report are meant to give some indication of the
current status and future changes that impact the goal and recommendations.
As such, one or more indicators have been identified that, when taken
together, allow one to infer the current status and trends over time. This initial
report serves to gauge the current state of affairs based on these indicators.
Only after multiple years of data collection will we be able to understand the
trends and thus measure change on each of these recommendations.

In addition, it is important to note that the recommendations drove the decisions


about which indicators to include in the final report. Consequently, in some cases,
data are not yet available to measure some of indicators identified in the report.
This is an important testament to the need to continue the national dialogue
about developing effective data sources to measure educational endeavors.

The commission recognizes that the measurement of educational efforts


can take many forms. Due to the nature of the commission’s goal and
10 recommendations, some of the indicators take the form of traditional
quantitative statistics, whereas others are in the form of narratives.

Wherever possible, data and indicators represent the most current nationally
recognized sources. Rather than create new measures of the educational
horizon, this report seeks to determine the degree to which the commission’s
goal and 10 recommendations are being met. Many high-quality data sources
and reports exist that can be used to inform current status and future progress
on the goal and recommendations. This report employs data provided by well-
respected organizations such as Education Week, the National Center for
Education Statistics, the National Center for Higher Education Management
Systems, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and the
U.S. Census Bureau, among others.
5 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

In the selection of the indicators to measure the commission’s goal and


10 recommendations, the statistics were vetted using the following criteria:

• The indicators are rigorous. All data must meet the generally accepted
standards for rigor within the field of educational measurement. All data
and collection methods are examined to ensure policymakers, educators,
parents and students can make valid inferences about the nation’s current
status on each indicator.
• The indicators are measurable on a regular basis. A key concern for
the commission is determining the degree to which progress is made over
time on the goal and 10 recommendations. Therefore, only data sources
available on a regular basis are included in this report. One-time reports,
although helpful in providing a snapshot of the status of the nation on the
goal and recommendations, will not aid in helping track progress over
the coming years.
• The indicators can be disaggregated. Whenever possible, indicators
are applicable to the nation and comparable across the 50 states and
the District of Columbia. The commission’s recommendations concern
the entire nation, thus the indicators have a national focus. Importantly,
individual states are conducting excellent work to allow policymakers and
citizens within those states to track the status and note the trends on the
goal and recommendations put forth by the commission. Only indicators
available on a national basis are featured herein.

This is a report on the nation’s status on the commission’s goal and 10


recommendations. The indicators highlighted in this report represent those
data that are available to help policymakers, educators, parents and students
understand where the nation stands on the goal. As policies and practices
change, new indicators may be added or obsolete indicators removed to
ensure that the indicators associated with each recommendation note the
nation’s status and subsequent progress on the commission’s goals and
10 recommendations.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Overview 6

A Year in Review
Since the commission convened, the educational landscape has changed
dramatically. These changes directly impact the goal of the commission and
each of the proposed recommendations. In the fall of 2008, the nation began
feeling the effects of one of the worst periods of recession in our history.
During the recession, unemployment increased, as did the number of home
foreclosures, and budgets for federal and state governments declined. This
turn in the economy coincided with new leadership in the White House.

In November of 2008, the nation elected Barack Obama as the 44th president
of the United States to lead Americans through these tough economic times.
President Obama started the road to recovery with the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA), an economic stimulus bill that provided $787 billion
to stimulate the economy, and his administration made education a major part
of this investment.1 The stimulus package provided money to states to help
close funding gaps and avoid massive layoffs of teachers and professors.

The Obama administration also set aside $4 billion to fund its Race to the Top
initiative, which provides grants to states to implement education reforms that
work. The president recently requested a $1.35 billion increase in funding for
fiscal year 2011 for this program.2 The Obama administration clearly recognizes
the importance of education in securing the future of America and initiated
these major investments in education.

While the nation struggles to strengthen the economy, the educational


capacity of our country continues to decline. The most recent figures from
the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show
that the United States does not rank first in the attainment of “tertiary” or
postsecondary degrees among adults in developed countries.

According to OECD, in 2007 our nation ranked sixth (See Figure A) in


postsecondary attainment in the world among 25- to 64-Year-Olds. Figure
C shows that the United States ranked fourth in postsecondary attainment
for citizens ages 55 to 64. The United States trails the Russian Federation,
Israel and Canada in this age group. As America’s aging and highly educated
workforce moves into retirement, the nation will rely on young Americans to
increase our standing in the world. However, Figure B illustrates that among
citizens between the ages of 25 and 34 in developed countries, America ranked
12th. In this key demographic group, Canada, Korea, the Russian Federation,
Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Norway, Israel, France, Belgium and Australia
are ahead of the United States. Also, Denmark and Sweden are close to parity
with our nation. If America is to regain its status as the leader in educational
attainment, we must make an investment in higher education access,
admission and success for all students.

1. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009.


2. U.S. Department of Education, 2010, retrieved on March 3, 2010.
http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/index.html
7

A
1.1a

Goal
55%

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Russian Federation 54.0%
Canada 48.3%
Israel 43.6%
Japan 41.0%
New Zealand 41.0%
UNITED STATES 40.3%
Finland 36.4%
Korea 34.6%
Norway 34.2%
Degree or Higher, 2007

Australia 33.7%
Estonia 33.3%
Ireland 32.2%
Denmark 32.2%
Belgium 32.1%
United Kingdom 31.8%
Switzerland 31.3%
Sweden 31.3%
Netherlands 30.8%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Iceland 29.8%
Source: Organisation for Economic and Co-operative Development, 2009

Spain 29.0%
OECD Average 27.5%
France 26.8%
Luxembourg 26.5%
Percentage of 25- to 64-Year-Olds with an Associate

EU19 Average 24.5%


Germany 24.3%
Greece 22.7%
Slovenia 22.2%
Poland 18.7%
Hungary 17.7%
Austria 17.6%
Mexico 15.9%
Slovak Republic 14.1%
Czech Republic 13.7%
Portugal 13.7%
Italy 13.6%
5

Chile 13.2%
30
Countries
Countries

Turkey 10.8%
United States

Brazil 9.6%
B

C
Goal

Goal
1.1c
55%

55%
1.1b

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70

10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Russian Federation 44.5% Canada 55.8%
Israel 43.5% Korea 55.5%
Canada 38.9% Russian Federation 55.5%
UNITED STATES 38.5% Japan 53.7%
New Zealand 34.7% New Zealand 47.3%
Estonia 28.4% Ireland 43.9%
Finland 28.2% Norway 42.7%
Australia 26.6% Israel 41.5%
Norway 26.5% France 41.4%

Degree or Higher, 2007


Degree or Higher, 2007

Sweden 25.9% Belgium 41.3%


Netherlands 25.8% Australia 40.7%
Switzerland 25.6% UNITED STATES 40.4%
United Kingdom 25.1% Denmark 40.1%
Denmark 24.2% Sweden 40.0%
Japan 23.9% Finland 39.3%
Germany 23.1% Spain 38.9%
Iceland 22.6% United Kingdom 37.1%
Netherlands 36.7%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Belgium 22.3%
OECD Average 20.1% Luxembourg 35.7%

Source: Organisation for Economic and Co-operative Development, 2009


Source: Organisation for Economic and Co-operative Development, 2009

Luxembourg 18.9% Switzerland 35.0%


EU19 Average 17.7% Estonia 34.6%
Ireland 17.5% OECD Average 34.2%
France 16.6% EU19 Average 31.0%

Percentage of 55- to 64-Year-Olds with an Associate


Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate

Spain 15.9% Iceland 31.0%


Hungary 15.7% Slovenia 30.1%
Slovenia 15.6% Poland 30.0%
Greece 14.1% Greece 28.1%
Austria 13.9% Germany 22.6%
Poland 12.3% Hungary 22.0%
Korea 10.9% Portugal 21.4%
Slovak Republic 10.8% Mexico 19.5%
Czech Republic 10.7% Austria 18.9%
Italy 9.0% Italy 18.9%
Mexico 9.0% Chile 18.3%
Chile 8.7% Slovak Republic 17.5%
3

Brazil 8.2% Czech Republic 15.5%


32
24
11

Turkey 13.6%
Countries
Countries
Countries
Countries

Turkey 7.9%
United States
United States

Portugal 7.4% Brazil 10.0%


Overview 8
9 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Overall Goal of the Commission


The commission called for the United States to take immediate action to reverse
its fall from the top ranks of countries with a college-educated workforce. It
warned that if postsecondary success was not made a national priority, our
country’s economic and social health would continue to weaken. The commission
noted the alarming decline of educational attainment ranking among 25- to
34-year-olds, with the United States ranking 12th out of 36 nations.3

America is facing the reality that a highly educated but aging workforce is
preparing to retire. As those workers retire, it is expected that the educational
level of the younger generation of Americans will not approach their parents’
level of education.

As of 2008, 41.6 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds attained an associate degree


or higher in the United States (please note that the data presented in figures
A, B and C are from 2007, while this percentage represents data from 2008).
Individual states achieved different levels of educational attainment for the
segment of their population that was 25 to 34 years old in 2007. The lowest
level of educational attainment for 25- to 34-year-olds was 27.8 percent (e.g.,
Arkansas and New Mexico) while the highest educational attainment for 25-
to 34-year-olds was 52.8 percent (e.g., Massachusetts).

For America to be among the leaders in education throughout the world, the
commission established a goal of ensuring that by the year 2025, 55 percent
of young Americans will earn at least a community college degree.

Part of the challenge in reaching the goal of 55 percent of young Americans


with an associate degree or higher lies in erasing disparities in educational
attainment for low-income students and underrepresented minorities. By
eliminating the severity of disparities between underrepresented minorities
and white Americans, it is estimated that more than half the degrees needed
to meet the 55 percent goal would be produced.4

3. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Education at a Glance: 2009, 30.
4. National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, “Adding It Up: State Challenges for Increasing
College Access and Success” (Boulder: NCHEMS, 2007).
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Overview 10

41.6 % Measuring the Goal: U.S.


Educational Attainment
As of 2008, Among 25- to 34-Year-Olds
41.6 percent of 25-
What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
to 34-year-olds had measures the percentage of adults in the United States between 25 and 34
attained an associate years old who have attained at least an associate degree. The indicator is
degree or higher in important in assessing the postsecondary attainment of a new generation of
the United States. workers in the United States and allows us to monitor the progress that America
makes toward the goal of being the world leader in providing educational

30.3
access. Unfortunately, over the last seven years, the U.S. ranking in the world

% has declined.

Trends. The United States ranks fourth out of 36 nations in postsecondary


attainment for citizens ages 55 to 64 years old. The United States is fourth
As of 2008, behind the Russian Federation, Israel and Canada in the percentage of citizens
30.3 percent of with postsecondary degrees.5 However, among 25- to 34-year-olds, the United
African Americans States falls to 12th in degree attainment.6 For this key demographic group,
Canada, Korea, the Russian Federation, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Norway,
ages 25 to 34 had
Israel, France, Belgium and Australia have managed to leap ahead of the United
attained an associate States, while Denmark and Sweden are close to parity with the United States.7
degree or higher.
Where are we now? The latest statistics from 2008 show that in the United

19.8 %
States 41.6 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds had attained an associate degree
or higher (please note that the data presented in figures A, B and C are from
2007, while this percentage represents data from 2008). The nation is 13.4
percentage points away from the goal of obtaining 55 percent by 2025. Figure
D shows that the percentage of adults ages 25 to 34 who attained an associate
As of 2008,
degree or higher increased marginally from 38.1 percent in 2000 to 41.6 percent
19.8 percent of in 2008. If we are to achieve the goal of 55 percent by 2025, the growth must
Hispanics ages 25 be significantly larger over the next 15 years than in the previous seven years.
to 34 had attained
Further, Figure F shows that in 2008, 41.1 percent of adults ages 25 to 64 had
an associate degree obtained an associate degree or higher in the United States. Just 40 percent of
or higher. adults ages 55 to 64 obtained an associate degree or higher and 41.6 percent
of adults ages 25 to 34 achieved this goal. While this does not seem like a
problem, it is easier to understand the issue after we look at other leading
nations. For example, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development (2009), 54 percent of adults in the Russian Federation
had an associate degree or higher. Among 55- to 64-year-olds in the Russian
Federation, only 44 percent of adults had attained an associate degree or higher,
yet the number rises to 55 percent for adults ages 25 to 34. Clearly, the Russian
Federation has ensured that the younger generation is significantly more
educated than its aging population, and other countries have also kept pace.

5. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Education at a Glance, 2009, 30.
See http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/664024334566 for full data.
6. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Education at a Glance, 2009, 30.
7. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Education at a Glance, 2009, 30.
11 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

D 2.1a Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


or Higher in the United States, 2000–2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010

70

60
Goal
55% 50

40.4% 41.6%
40 38.1% 38.7% 39.3% 38.7% 39.0% 39.4% 39.2%

30

20

10

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

In Canada and Korea, for example, 56 percent of adults ages 25 to 34


have obtained an associate degree or higher. However, in the United States the
education of both generations is nearly equal. This must change if the United
States is to regain its standing in the world, and the key to making this happen
is to increase attainment for all Americans.

Educational attainment by race/ethnicity is a daunting problem for our country


and one that we must solve as the demographics of our society continue to
change. Figure E shows that among adults ages 25 to 64, 62.9 percent of
Asians and 46.0 percent of whites have attained an associate degree or higher
in 2008. However, only 30.4 percent of African Americans and 20.2 percent of
Hispanics met the goal. It is important for all citizens of the United States to
have equal access to and succeed in higher education. The data also show that
younger Asians and whites are more educated than their older peers, while
young African Americans and Hispanics are not much more educated than their
elders ages 55 to 64. We must seek greater numbers of 25- to 34-year-olds who
obtain an associate degree or higher regardless of race, but we must also make
larger gains for underrepresented minorities in the United States.

When the view among states is examined (Figure G), no state has reached the
goal of 55 percent of its citizens with an associate degree or higher except the
District of Columbia. The percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with an associate
degree or higher ranges from 22.5 percent in Arkansas to 62.2 percent in the
District of Columbia. Figure G shows that when states are placed in rank order,
the top states are the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, North Dakota,
Minnesota and New York. The bottom states are Arkansas, Louisiana, Nevada,
West Virginia and New Mexico.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Overview 12

E Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree 25- to 34-Year-Olds


25- to 64-Year-Olds
2.1c or Higher in the United States by Race/Ethnicity and Age, 2008
55- to 64-Year-Olds
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010

70 70.7%

62.9%
60
Goal
51.8%
55% 50 49.0%
46.0%
43.4%
40

30 30.4% 30.3%
28.6%

20 20.2% 19.8% 19.0%

10

Asian African Hispanic White


American

F Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


2.1b or Higher in the United States by Age, 2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010

70

60
Goal
55% 50

40 41.1% 41.6% 40.0%

30

20

10

25 to 64 25 to 34 55 to 64
13 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

G Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate


Degree or Higher in the United States by State Rank, 2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS), 2010
Note: State level data were calculated using ACS while the national number is based on CPS.

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
District of Columbia 63.5%
Massachusetts 53.4%

e North Dakota
Minnesota
49.5%
48.3%
New York 47.7%
Connecticut 46.3%
New Jersey 45.9%
Iowa 45.9%
New Hampshire 45.6% 17
States
Maryland 44.6%
Nebraska 44.1% U.S. Average
Vermont 43.8%
South Dakota 43.6%
34
States
Rhode Island 43.4%
Pennsylvania 42.8%
Illinois 42.7%
Virginia 42.4%
UNITED STATES 41.6%
Colorado 41.5%
Kansas 41.5%
Hawaii 40.9%
Wisconsin 39.7%
Washington 39.4%
Utah 38.2%
Missouri 36.6%
Delaware 36.4%
Ohio 36.4%
Oregon 36.3%
Maine 36.2%
Montana 36.1%
North Carolina 36.0%
Indiana 36.0%
California 35.8%
Michigan 35.8%
Florida 35.3%
South Carolina 34.4%
Wyoming 34.3%
Idaho 34.1%
Georgia 34.0%
Kentucky 32.2%
Alabama 31.8%
Mississippi 31.7%
Tennessee 31.3%
Texas 30.7%
Arizona 30.7%
Alaska 30.5%
Oklahoma 30.3%
New Mexico 28.5%
West Virginia 28.2%
Nevada 28.2%
Louisiana 28.1%
AVG Goal
Arkansas 25.9%
41.6 55%
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Overview 14

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


In order for the United States to make headway in reaching the goal of 55
percent of Americans with an associate degree or higher, the nation must
ensure that all Americans have access to higher education. A major part
of the challenge lies in erasing disparities in educational attainment so that low-
income students and underrepresented minorities have the ability to complete
degrees. Just 30.4 percent of African Americans, 20.2 percent of Hispanic
Americans, and 23.0 percent of American Indian or Alaska Natives have at least
an associate degree.8 For this reason, we must monitor not only the educational
attainment of all citizens, but also the educational attainment of each race/
ethnicity and income group.

Reading the Document


The remaining chapters in this document identify the indicators used to
assess the status of the nation in achieving the commission’s goal and
recommendations. Each chapter gives an overview of the identified measures,
a description of their importance, possible issues faced by policymakers, the
current statistics and points to consider when interpreting the measures. While
each measure is from a well-respected source, readers are encouraged to
consider the collection of data points presented in this report to inform their
inferences about where the nation stands on the education frontier.

8. National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, “Racial/Ethnic Gaps: Percent of Adults with an
Associate Degree or Higher-Gaps between Whites and Minorities” (Boulder: NCHEMS, 2009).
completionagenda.collegeboard.org

One
Provide a program of
voluntary preschool
education, universally
available to children from
low-income families
WE RECOMMEND that states provide a program of
voluntary high-quality, preschool education, universally
available to 3- and 4-year-old children from families at
or below 200 percent of the poverty line.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation One 16

The commission believes that a program of voluntary preschool education


should be universally available to all students to ensure that all children develop
the skills needed to be successful later in school. While the children of
better-educated and higher-income families are more likely to take advantage
of preschool programs, children from low-income families are not afforded
the same opportunities. Research suggests that preschool programs produce
children that are more ready for school and help children that are from
low-income families secure the foundation necessary to succeed.

The commission noted the importance of preschool programs for children


from low-income families, including this area of focus as a recommendation.
Preschool programs offer children the opportunity to develop vocabulary skills
and prepare them for success in reading and comprehension in later grades.
It will be important for local, state and federal agencies to work together to
provide universal access to high-quality preschool programs for all children,
especially those from low-income families. Note: The terms preschool and
pre-K were used interchangeably.

The following indicators will assist in examining the accessibility


of universally available preschool education to children from
low-income families:

• Percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs;


• Percentage of 3- to 4-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs; and
• Percentage of 3- to 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start programs by state.

The data provided for this recommendation include the percentage of 3- to


5-year-olds in center-based programs (i.e., preschools, Head Start, day-care
centers), percentage of 3- to 4-year-olds in state-funded pre-K programs and
percentage of 3- to 4-year-olds in Head Start programs by state. Programs,
such as Head Start, are targeted for this recommendation because they are
designed, as the recommendation indicates, to provide comprehensive school
readiness to low-income students.

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• As of 2005, 57.0 percent of all 3- to 5-year-olds are enrolled in
preschool programs.
• As of 2005, 47.0 percent of all low-income 3- to 5-year-olds are enrolled
in preschool programs.
• As of 2008, 23.0 percent of 4-year-olds are enrolled in state-funded pre-K
programs compared to 6.0 percent of 3-year-olds who are enrolled in
state-funded pre-K programs.
• As of 2008, 8.8 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in Head Start
programs.
17 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

57.0 % Percentage of 3- to 5-Year-Olds


Enrolled in Preschool Programs
As of 2005,
57.0 percent of all
1.1
3- to 5-year-olds
are enrolled in National Percentage of 3- to 5-Year-Olds Enrolled Above the Poverty Line
United States
preschool programs. in Preschool Programs by Poverty Status, 2008
Below the Poverty Line
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2009

3.1a

47.0% 70

60 56.0% 56.0%
59.0% 59.0%
62.0%
59.0% 60.0%
As of 2005, 60.0%
50 57.0%
47.0 percent of 53.0% 53.0% 55.0% 55.0% 56.0%
51.0%
3- to 5-year-olds 40 45.0% 47.0% 47.0%
44.0% 43.0% 44.0%
below the poverty
30
line are enrolled in
preschool programs. 20

10

1991 1993 1995 1996 1999 2001 2005


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation One 18

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
is the percentage of children enrolled in center-based early childhood care
and educational programs. It presents an overview of national level data on
preschool enrollment and high-quality child care for 3- to 5-year-olds. It monitors
how many children have access to center-based preschool programs.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Access to
preschool education can have a direct effect on the ability of children to perform
later in school. Many of the educational disparities found in students later in
their educational careers can be linked back to preparation disparities in children
when they enter kindergarten. Because the experiences of students when
growing up are so important to their future development, it is important that
children from low-income backgrounds have access to preschool programs
to ensure they are ready for the demands of many years of schooling.

Many children from low-income families do not have access to high-quality


preschool programs. State policy must be developed to provide, on a voluntary
basis, universal access to first-class, preschool programs for children from
low-income families. States and the nation must ensure that all students have
access to preschool programs.

This measure assists state policy leaders in identifying how many children from
low-income families have access to universal preschool education. Universal
preschool programs offer children high-quality education that prepares the
foundation that will be important in later school success.

Where are we now? In the United States, 57.0 percent of all 3- to 5-year-olds
are currently enrolled in preschool programs. When the data are disaggregated
by poverty status, 47.0 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds from families below the
poverty line are enrolled in preschool programs. In comparison, 60.0 percent of
3- to 5-year-olds from families above the poverty line are enrolled in preschool
programs. Figure 1.1 also shows that this trend has remained relatively stable
from 1991 through 2005.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


The data provide information on the general enrollment for center-based early
childhood care and educational programs for the United States. Child and family
characteristics include children ages 3 to 5, race/ethnicity, mother’s highest
education, household income and economic status. It is also important to note
the data do not show enrollment of students in preschool education programs
by individual states, yet this data needs to be collected on a state by state basis.
19 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

3.6 % Percentage of 3- to 4-Year-Olds


Enrolled in State-Funded Pre-K
As of 2008, Programs
3.6 percent of 3-year-
olds are enrolled in
state-funded pre-K 1.2a
programs. Percentage of 3-Year-Olds Enrolled in State-Funded Pre-K
Programs by State Rank, 2008
Source: National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2009

24.0% Illinois
Arkansas
Vermont
20.0%
18.0%
17.0%
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

3.2d
As of 2008, New Jersey
Kentucky
16.0%
10.0%
24.0 percent of Massachusetts
Pennsylvania
10.0%
6.0%
4-year-olds are West Virginia
California
6.0%
5.0%
enrolled in Texas
Colorado
5.0%
4.0%
state-funded pre-K Connecticut
Oregon
4.0%
4.0%
programs. South Carolina
UNITED STATES
4.0%
3.6%
Ohio 3.0%
Missouri 2.0%
Nebraska 2.0%
14
States
Washington 2.0%
U.S. Average
Iowa 1.0%
Maryland 1.0% 37
Minnesota 1.0% States
Nevada 1.0%
Tennessee 1.0%
Wisconsin 1.0%
Alabama 0.0%
Alaska 0.0%
Arizona 0.0%
Delaware 0.0%
District of Columbia 0.0%
Florida 0.0%
Georgia 0.0%
Hawaii 0.0%
Idaho 0.0%
Indiana 0.0%
Kansas 0.0%
Louisiana 0.0%
Maine 0.0%
Michigan 0.0%
Mississippi 0.0%
Montana 0.0%
New Hampshire 0.0%
New Mexico 0.0%
New York 0.0%
North Carolina 0.0%
North Dakota 0.0%
Oklahoma 0.0%
Rhode Island 0.0%
South Dakota 0.0% AVG
Utah
Virginia
0.0%
0.0% 3.6
Wyoming 0.0% %
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation One 20

1.2b Percentage of 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in State-Funded Pre-K


Programs by State Rank, 2008
Source: National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Oklahoma 71.0%
Florida 61.0%

2b Georgia
Vermont
53.0%
50.0%
3.2d
Texas 45.0%
West Virginia 43.0%
Wisconsin 40.0%
New York 39.0%
Maryland 37.0%
South Carolina 35.0%
Illinois 31.0%
Louisiana 30.0%
Arkansas 28.0%
Kentucky 28.0%
New Jersey 26.0%
UNITED STATES 24.0%
North Carolina 23.0%
Tennessee 21.0% 15
States
Maine 19.0%
Michigan 18.0% U.S. Average

Iowa 17.0% 36
Colorado 16.0% States
Connecticut 16.0%
Kansas 16.0%
New Mexico 13.0%
Virginia 13.0%
California 12.0%
Massachusetts 11.0%
Pennsylvania 11.0%
Ohio 10.0%
Delaware 7.0%
Oregon 7.0%
Arizona 6.0%
Nebraska 6.0%
Washington 6.0%
Alabama 4.0%
Missouri 4.0%
Minnesota 2.0%
Nevada 2.0%
Alaska 0.0%
District of Columbia 0.0%
Hawaii 0.0%
Idaho 0.0%
Indiana 0.0%
Mississippi 0.0%
Montana 0.0%
New Hampshire 0.0%
North Dakota 0.0%
Rhode Island 0.0%
South Dakota 0.0%
Utah 0.0%
AVG
Wyoming 0.0%
24.0
%
21 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
is the percentage of children enrolled in state-funded preschool education
programs. This measure presents an overview of state-level data on enrollment
in high-quality child care for 3- and 4-year-olds. It is important because it
determines the percentage of students who have access to pre-K programs.
Participation in a pre-K program ensures that 3- and 4-year-olds are prepared
for success in kindergarten and beyond.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The Commission
on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education report notes the
importance of states developing funding formulas to assist communities in
establishing high-quality preschool programs. Also, the commission recommends
that local school boards and districts play a role in helping establish preschool
programs. They do this by offering space for preschool programs to operate
and utilizing best practices for the alignment of a preschool curriculum with the
learning expectations in kindergarten.

Where are we now? In the United States currently, 24.0 percent of all 4-year-
olds are enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs, while only 3.6 percent of
3-year-olds were enrolled in the program. It should be noted that 27 states
do not have state-funded preschool programs for 3-year-olds, while 13 states
do not have preschool programs for 4-year-olds.

When the data are disaggregated by state for 4-year-olds who are enrolled in
state-funded pre-K programs, the percentages range from 0.0 percent in several
states to 71.0 percent in Oklahoma. Figure 1.2b shows that when states are
placed in rank order, the states with the largest percentage of participation are
Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Vermont and Texas. Of the states that have a program,
the states with the lowest percentage of participation are Nevada, Minnesota,
Missouri, Alabama and Washington. When the data are disaggregated by state
for 3-year-olds enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs, the percentages range
from 0.0 in several states to 20.0 percent in Illinois. Figure 1.2a shows that
when states are placed in rank order, the states with the largest percentage
of participation are Illinois, Arkansas, Vermont, New Jersey and Kentucky.
The states with the lowest percentage of participation (of those states that have
programs) are Wisconsin, Tennessee, Nevada, Minnesota and Maryland.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? The State
Preschool Yearbook data provide information for each state on access, quality
standards and resources for state-funded preschool programs.9 It is important to
note that preschools are the only one of several types of educational programs
that districts can target for Title I funds. In addition, there are several states that
do not offer state-funded programs: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi,
Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah
and Wyoming.

9. Barnett, S., Epstein, D., Friedman, A., Boyd, J., & Hustedt, J. “The State of Preschool 2008”
(New Brunswick, NJ: NIEER, 2008).
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation One 22

8.8 % Percentage of 3- and 4-Year-


Olds Enrolled in Head Start
As of 2008, Programs
8.8 percent of 3-
and 4-year-olds are
enrolled in Head 1.3a
Start programs. Percentage of 3- and 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start
Programs by State Rank, 2008
Source: National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Mississippi 29.4%
District of Columbia 22.5%
Louisiana 16.7%
3.3f West Virginia 16.4%
North Dakota 13.4%
Kentucky 13.2%
Alabama 12.6%
Michigan 12.5%
Oklahoma 12.5%
Arkansas 12.4%
Montana 11.3%
Ohio 11.0%
Maine 10.9%
Pennsylvania 10.7%
South Dakota 10.6%
Wyoming 10.2%
South Carolina 10.0%
New Mexico 9.9%
Oregon 9.7%
Rhode Island 9.6%
Illinois 9.6%
Missouri 9.5%
Tennessee 9.5%
New York 9.1%
Vermont 9.0%
UNITED STATES 8.8%
Hawaii 8.6%
California 8.5%
Wisconsin 8.4%
25
States
Kansas 8.3% U.S. Average
Nebraska 7.9%
Texas 7.9% 26
Iowa 7.7% States

Georgia 7.5%
Massachusetts 7.3%
Connecticut 7.2%
Florida 7.2%
Alaska 7.1%
Delaware 7.0%
North Carolina 6.9%
Indiana 6.8%
Minnesota 6.4%
Maryland 6.2%
Colorado 6.1%
Virginia 6.0%
Arizona 5.9%
Washington 5.7%
Idaho 5.7%
New Jersey 5.4%
Utah 5.1%
New Hampshire 4.6%
Nevada 3.2%
AVG

8.8
%
23 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
is the percentage of children enrolled in federally funded Head Start education
programs. Enrollment in Head Start is especially important because the program
is designed to serve the whole child. In particular, Head Start funding provides
preschool education, medical care, dental care, nutrition services and mental
health services to its participants.10 This measure presents an overview of state-
level data on enrollment in Head Start programs for 3- and 4-year-olds.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? For several years,
there has been some concern from the federal government about the use of
funds for Head Start programs across the nation. Congress did not pass the
Head Start Accountability Bills of 200511 or 200712, which suggested that states
properly manage the funds appropriated for Head Start programs. Policymakers
in this area, specifically at the state level, should ensure that clear and concise
policies and practices are in place to provide evidence of the proper use of
the funding.

Where are we now? In the United States, 8.8 percent of all 3- to 4-year-olds
are enrolled in federally funded Head Start programs. However, 7.3 percent of
3-year-olds are enrolled in the program compared to 10.3 percent of 4-year-olds.

When the data are disaggregated by state for 3- to 4-year-olds who are enrolled
in state-funded pre-K programs, the percentages range from 3.2 percent in
Nevada to 29.4 percent in Mississippi. Figure 1.3a shows that when states
are placed in rank order, the states with the largest percentage of participation
are Mississippi, District of Columbia, Louisiana, West Virginia and North Dakota.
The states with the lowest percentage of participation are Nevada, New
Hampshire, Utah, New Jersey and Idaho.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? Head Start
is a national initiative with variations in the program models across states. All
Head Start programs focus on helping children to learn, but may also focus on
other aspects of childhood. Also, the level of implementation of Head Start
programs may vary from program to program. It is important to remember that
students participating in the program may receive various types of instruction.13

10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (January 2010). Head
Start Impact Study. Final Report. Washington, D.C. p9.
11. Head Start Accountability Act of 2005, H.R. 778, 109th Cong. (2005).
12. Head Start Accountability Act of 2007, H.R. 1630, 110th Cong. (2007).
13. Mathematica Policy Research. Results from the “I am Moving, I am Learning” Stage 1 Survey, 2007. Retrieved
June 17, 2010 from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/hs/eval_move_learn/reports/stage1_survey/stage1_
survey.pdf
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation One 24

1.3b Percentage of 3-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start Programs


by State Rank, 2008
Source: National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Mississippi 23.7%
District of Columbia 21.8%

3b Louisiana
West Virginia
17.6%
12.0%
3.3d
Arkansas 11.4%
Oklahoma 11.4%
Kentucky 10.5%
North Dakota 10.0%
Alabama 9.9%
South Carolina 9.9%
Ohio 9.7%
Michigan 9.7%
Maine 9.1%
Montana 8.8%
Pennsylvania 8.6%
South Dakota 8.6%
Vermont 8.5%
Wisconsin 8.5%
Georgia 8.4%
Illinois 8.4%
Wyoming 8.2%
Missouri 8.1%
New York 7.8%
Kansas 7.7%
UNITED STATES 7.3%
Rhode Island 7.3%
Oregon 7.3% 24
States
Tennessee 7.2%
U.S. Average
Texas 7.1%
New Mexico 6.6% 27
Iowa 6.5% States

Massachusetts 6.5%
Nebraska 6.4%
Hawaii 6.4%
Connecticut 6.3%
California 6.3%
Delaware 6.0%
Maryland 6.0%
Florida 5.5%
Alaska 5.2%
Indiana 5.2%
Minnesota 5.1%
North Carolina 5.0%
Virginia 4.9%
Colorado 4.7%
New Jersey 4.6%
Washington 4.0%
New Hampshire 3.8%
Arizona 3.6%
Utah 3.0%
Idaho 2.8%
Nevada 2.6%
AVG

7.3
%
25 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

1.3c Percentage of 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start Programs


by State Rank, 2008
Source: National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Mississippi 35.3%
District of Columbia 23.4%

3.3d West Virginia


North Dakota
20.9%
17.0%
Kentucky 16.0%
Louisiana 15.8%
Michigan 15.4%
Alabama 15.3%
Montana 13.9%
Oklahoma 13.6%
Arkansas 13.4%
New Mexico 13.3%
South Dakota 12.7%
Maine 12.7%
Pennsylvania 12.7%
Ohio 12.4%
Wyoming 12.2%
Oregon 12.2%
Rhode Island 12.1%
Tennessee 11.8%
Hawaii 11.0%
Missouri 10.9%
California 10.8%
Illinois 10.8%
New York 10.4%
UNITED STATES 10.3%
South Carolina 10.1%
Vermont 9.5% 25
States
Nebraska 9.5%
Alaska 9.1% U.S. Average

Iowa 8.9%
26
Florida 8.9% States
Kansas 8.8%
North Carolina 8.7%
Texas 8.7%
Idaho 8.6%
Indiana 8.4%
Wisconsin 8.4%
Arizona 8.3%
Massachusetts 8.2%
Connecticut 8.1%
Delaware 8.0%
Minnesota 7.8%
Colorado 7.5%
Washington 7.3%
Utah 7.2%
Virginia 7.0%
Georgia 6.6%
Maryland 6.5%
New Jersey 6.2%
New Hampshire 5.3%
AVG
Nevada 3.9%
10.3
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Two
Improve middle
school and high
school counseling
WE RECOMMEND that states and localities move toward
professional norms for staffing middle and high school
counseling offices and that colleges and universities
collaborate actively to provide college information and
planning services to all students (with a special focus on
low-income students).
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Two 28

College counseling programs in middle and high schools build a college-going


culture among students and help students and families understand the value
of college. To create this culture, school counselors must ensure that students
and families understand the importance of taking college-preparatory courses,
know how to navigate the college admission process, and comprehend
the financial aid processes. Middle school college counseling programs are
especially helpful to ensure that students are completing course work that will
allow them to participate in a college preparatory curriculum upon entering high
school. Middle school is not too early to start college counseling, and it is often
too late to begin preparing students after they reach high school.

A major function of the college counseling program in high schools is to expose


students to various colleges, universities and other postsecondary opportunities
that may fit their career and personal goals. College counselors should aid
students in comprehending the importance of college and other postsecondary
educational opportunities and help students navigate the often complex college
admission and financial aid processes.14 Counselors should use their vast
knowledge of postsecondary options to help students choose the path that is
best for their future goals and expectations, and this should include work and
career, military, athletic and academic options. The earlier college counseling
begins, the better prepared students will be for life after high school.

The following indicators will assist in assessing the state of middle and
high school college counseling:

• Student-to-counselor ratio;
• Number of statewide comprehensive school counseling programs;
• Professional development for secondary school college counselors; and
• Percentage of counselors’ time spent on tasks.

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• As of 2007–2008, the U.S. average student-to-counselor ratio was 467:1.
• As of 2007, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wyoming were the
only states to meet the recommended student-to-counselor ratio of 250:1.15
• As of 2008, 71.0 percent of states have implemented a statewide
comprehensive counseling program.
• As of 2008, 39.9 percent of secondary schools require college counselors
to participate in professional development.
• As of 2008, secondary school counselors spend 28.8 percent of their time
on postsecondary admission counseling.

14. American School Counselor Association, School counselor competencies. Retrieved on Feb. 2, 2010, from
ASCA website: http://www.schoolcounselor.org/files/SCCompetencies.pdf, 68.
15. American School Counselor Association, Student-to-counselor ratios. Retrieved on March 5, 2010, from ASCA
website: http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=460
29 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

467:1 Student-to-Counselor Ratio

As of 2007, 4.1a 2.1a


the U.S. average National Student-to-Counselor Ratio, 1997–2007
student-to-counselor Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, 2008
ratio is 467:1
The maximum
550
recommendation for 506 500 490 488
483 476 477 479 473 480 467
student-to-counselor
440
ratio is 250:1.
330

220

110

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
provides the student-to-counselor ratio for the nation. The total number of
students and the total number of counselors are given for this measure by each
state for elementary and secondary schools. The student-to-counselor ratio
identifies the potential access a student may have to the college counseling
services provided in a particular school, school district or state.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? While counselors
work in schools across the nation, many of the state-level student-to-counselor
ratios suggest that school counselors are overloaded with the number of
students to whom they must provide services. States should adopt policies that
move toward reducing the number of students that are assigned to a counselor.
Attention should also be paid to increasing the number of school counselors in
a school, school district or state to meet the recommended student-to-
counselor ratio.

Where are we now? In the United States, the average student-to-counselor


ratio is 467 students per counselor. Figure 2.1a shows that this student-to-
counselor ratio decreased from 1997 to 2007 from a high of 506 students to
one counselor. Although the trend in the ratio is decreasing, it is far from the
recommended student-to-counselor ratio of 250 students per counselor.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Two 30

When the data are disaggregated by state, the student-to-counselor ratio ranges
from 203:1 in Wyoming, to 1,076:1 in Illinois. Figure 2.1b shows that when
states are placed in rank order for 2007, the top states are Wyoming, Vermont,
Louisiana, New Hampshire and Hawaii. The bottom states are Illinois, California,
Minnesota, Utah and Arizona.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


The student-to-counselor ratio data include all school counselors and do not
identify how much time they spend providing college counseling to middle or
high school students. It is important that all students receive college counseling
early, particularly by middle school. Counselors are essential to students,
because they improve access to information about college and career options.

As of 2007, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wyoming are the only
states to meet the recommended student-to-counselor ratio of 250:1. Although
these states have met the recommended ratio, this measure does not speak
to the quality of services received by students from the school counselor.
School counselors are often unable to fulfill their role and responsibilities
if school officials are requesting they complete unrelated activities such as
proctoring exams.16

16. American School Counselor Association, ASCA National Model. Retrieved March 5, 2010, from ASCA website:
http://www.ascanationalmodel.org/
31 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

2.1b Student-to-Counselor Ratio by State Rank, 2007


Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, 2008

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100

Wyoming 203
Vermont 220

4.1c Louisiana
New Hampshire
225
243
Hawaii 273
Virginia 300
Montana 310
Maine 315
Missouri 337
Arkansas 339
Maryland 349
District of Columbia 356
Tennessee 357
Rhode Island 360
North Dakota 366
Nebraska 369
North Carolina 379
Pennsylvania 380
South Dakota 390
Oklahoma 391
Alabama 398
Iowa 400
New Mexico 404
West Virginia 405
South Carolina 407
Connecticut 409
Kansas 418
Massachusetts 426
Texas 430
Florida 433
Idaho 443
Georgia 448
Delaware 451
Alaska 452
Wisconsin 454
Kentucky 454
New York 463
Mississippi 464
UNITED STATES 467
Colorado 470
Nevada 484 38
States
Oregon 485
Ohio 493 U.S. Average

New Jersey 495 13


Washington 500 States
Indiana 543
Michigan 643
Arizona 750
Utah 772
Minnesota 777
California 809
GOAL AVG
Illinois 1076
250 467
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Two 32

71 % Statewide Comprehensive
School Counseling Programs
As of 2008, What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measures
71 percent of states the percentage of states whose schools offer college counseling for middle and
high school students. It is important for school counselors to provide support,
have a statewide encouragement and guidance to students; particularly in helping students
comprehensive prepare for college and for success in college.
school counseling
program. What are the policy issues associated with this measure? While most states
have designed a comprehensive school counseling program, many school
counselors are often assigned to complete auxiliary tasks. The percentage
of time a school counselor spends implementing the American School
Counselor Association National Model is unknown. However, ASCA made a
recommendation concerning appropriate and inappropriate work activities
for school counselors.17 State policies should make an effort to remind and
encourage teachers, school administrators and other school officials to allow
school counselors the opportunity to participate in appropriate activities as
suggested by ASCA and implement the national model of comprehensive
school counseling.18 State policies also should make an effort to move toward
the development of a measure and collection of data that will determine the
level of implementation of the comprehensive school counseling programs
in the state.

Where are we now? In the United States, only 36 states and the District of
Columbia have a statewide comprehensive school counseling program. This
represents 71 percent of all states. This suggests the nation has more work to
do to ensure that all students have access to quality school counseling. Further,
it is believed that more data must be collected on the interactions between
counselors and students at both the middle and high school levels.

17. American School Counselor Association, “Appropriate and inappropriate activities for school counselors,”
Retrieved from American School Counselor Association website on Feb. 2, 2010:
http://www.schoolcounselor.org/files/appropriate.pdf, 2008, 1.
18. American School Counselor Association, ASCA National Model. Retrieved March 5, 2010, from ASCA website:
http://www.ascanationalmodel.org/
33 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

4.2

2.2 States with Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, 2008


Source: American School Counselor Association, 2008

YES NO
Alabama Montana California
Alaska Nebraska Colorado
Arizona New Hampshire District of Columbia
Arkansas New Jersey Hawaii
Connecticut New Mexico Kentucky
Delaware
Florida
New York
North Carolina
Maryland
Minnesota
NO 29%
Georgia Oklahoma Mississippi
Idaho Oregon Nevada
Illinois Rhode Island North Dakota
Indiana
Iowa
South Carolina
South Dakota
Ohio
Pennsylvania
YES 71%
Kansas Tennessee Vermont
Louisiana Texas Washington
Maine Utah Wyoming
Massachusetts Virginia
Michigan West Virginia
Missouri Wisconsin

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? Currently


no rigorous estimate is regularly available for the percentage of students
who have access to college counseling in middle and high school. Although
estimates for the student-to-counselor ratio are available, these estimates
do not take into account the myriad functions filled by contemporary school
counselors in addition to college counseling. Disciplinary issues, scheduling and
other guidance issues tend to crowd the schedule for the nation’s middle and
high school counselors. College counseling is, however, a necessity for students
across the nation — especially those from backgrounds that are traditionally
underrepresented in college. It is critical that policymakers and educators
discuss ways to create a measure to gauge the degree to which students have
access to high-quality college counselors.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Two 34

39.9 % Professional Development


for Secondary School College
As of 2008, Counselors
39.9 percent of
secondary schools
require college 4.3a 2.3a Public
Private
counselors to Percentage of Secondary Schools that Require Total
participate in Professional Development, 2006–2008
professional Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling, Counseling Trends Survey, 2006–2008
development.
80

70

35.0
60.1% 61.3%

% 60

50
45.1%
49.2%
39.9%
40 36.6%
As of 2008, 30
41.0%
34.2% 35.0%
35.0 percent of
20
public secondary
10
schools require
college counselors 0

to participate 2006 2007 2008

in professional
development. 4.3b 2.3b Public
Private
Percentage of Secondary Schools that Cover All Total
Professional Development Costs, 2004–2008

61.3 % Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling, Counseling Trends Survey, 2004–2008

80 79.4%
Private 72.2%
Total 70.3%
70
Public Asof 2008,
60 57.4%
61.3 percent of 53.0%
50.5%
50
private secondary
39.2% 39.2%
schools require 40
33.0%
college counselors 31.1% 41.2%
30
33.3%
to participate 20
31.7%

in professional 21.0%
23.3%
10
development.
0
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
35 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? The continued
development or education of employees is a common practice across many
professions. This remains true for college counselors in secondary schools.
Their lack of professional development is detrimental to their ability to provide
students with current and complete information. This indicator measures
the percentage of secondary schools that require their college counselors to
participate in professional development. The measure also gives the percentage
of schools that make the required participation possible by covering all or some
of the costs associated with this professional development.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Although schools,
districts and states require college counselors to participate in professional
development, many of them do not cover the associated costs. Policymakers
should ensure that budget appropriations made are adequate to cover the cost
of the required professional development for all college counselors. Covering
the cost for college counselors may encourage more of them to attend the
available professional development activities, thus increasing the potential
for students to have access to the most current and useful information about
college from the school counselor. Policymakers should also note opportunities
that exist for counselors to increase their knowledge, skills and abilities.19

Where are we now? Currently, 39.9 percent of secondary schools in the United
States require counselors to participate in professional development. Figure
2.3a shows that while 61.3 percent of private schools require professional
development, only 35.0 percent of public schools have the same requirement.
The differences in the public and private funding of professional development
had a relatively stable trend from 2004–2008.

Similarly, only 31.7 percent of all secondary schools in the United States cover
all the costs for counselors to participate in professional development. Figure
2.3b shows that while 72.2 percent of private schools cover all the costs for
professional development, only 31.7 percent of public schools do the same.
The trend has been relatively stable from 2004–2008.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Another important aspect of professional development is the fidelity of the
implementation of the learned ideas, services and products by the trainees.
Currently, the nation lacks a measure to assess effectiveness of professional
development for school counselors. It is unknown whether the common
practices of school counselors change after participating in professional
development related to college counseling. This indicator does not eliminate
this gap in the data, but it will provide an indirect look at the level of importance
placed on professional development by schools, districts and states.

19. The College Board, Counselor Workshops. Retrieved March 17, 2010, from
http://professionals.collegeboard.com/prof-dev/workshops/counselors, 2009.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Two 36

28.8 % Percentage of Counselors’ Time


Spent on Tasks
As of 2008,
secondary school 4.4a 2.4a Public
counselors spend 28.8 Private
Percentage of Counselors’ Time Spent on Postsecondary Total
percent of their time
Admission Counseling by School Type, 2004–2008
on postsecondary Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling, Counseling Trends Survey, 2004–2008
admission counseling.
80

70

22.8 %
60.8%
60 57.8% 56.4% 57.5%
54.4%
50

40 38.8%
As of 2008, 30
32.2% 29.9% 28.7% 28.8%
public secondary
20 28.0%
school counselors 24.6% 22.9% 23.1% 22.8%
spend 22.8 percent 10

of their time on 0

postsecondary 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

admission counseling.
4.4b
2.4b Public

54.4
Private

% Percentage of Counselors’ Time Spent on Tasks Total

by School Type, 2008


Source: National Association for College Admission Counseling, Counseling Trends Survey, 2008

80
As of 2008,
Public
Private
private secondary
Total
70

school counselors
54.4%

60

spend 54.4 percent 50


of their time on
40
postsecondary
28.8%

admission counseling.
24.8%

30
22.8%

22.4%

20.2%

18.5%

14.8%

13.7%

20
12.3%

11.2%

9.4%

7.9%

6.9%

6.0%

10
4.8%

4.9%
4.5%

5.0%
4.3%
2.4%

Postsecondary Choice and Personal Academic Occupational Teaching Other


Admission Scheduling Needs Testing Counseling and Non-Guidance
Counseling HS Courses Counseling Job Placement Activities
37 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? The ­day-to­-day
role and responsibilities of the school counselor can vary from building to
building. This measure presents the average percentage of time spent on
various tasks. The measure seeks to raise the awareness of the role and
responsibilities of school counselors, in particular, the role of postsecondary
admission counseling. It is important to monitor the amount of time spent
on postsecondary education to ensure students are receiving the information,
services and support they need to gain access to college.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? This measure
represents the average percentage of time counselors spend on various
activities. It is a reminder of the variety of roles a counselor must fill in a
school. The data presented in this measure can be used by administrators to
understand the average percentage of time spent on counseling tasks. When
administrators gain a thorough understanding of the most appropriate roles and
responsibilities;20 they will be able to advocate for the tools necessary for school
counselors to fulfill their role. Policymakers are encouraged to use this measure
in combination with the others presented in this recommendation to ensure
that there are no conflicting policies that will prevent counselors from working
to the best of their ability.

Where are we now? As of 2008, 28.8 percent of counselors’ time is spent


on postsecondary admission counseling in the United States. Figure 2.4a
shows that while 54.4 percent of private school counselors’ time is spent
on postsecondary admission counseling, only 22.8 percent of public school
counselors’ time is spent on postsecondary admission counseling. Many private
schools have school counselors whose role is more unidimensional than that of
the public school counselor (See Figure 2.4b). Thus, they are able to spend more
time in postsecondary admission counseling.

Private school counselors devote more time to this activity. Figure 2.4b shows
that public school counselors devote almost an equal percentage of time to
postsecondary admission counseling as to scheduling students in courses and
attending to the personal needs of students. While public school counselors
spend 24.8 percent of their time on student scheduling, private school
counselors spend only 12.3 percent of their time on this activity. Similarly,
public school counselors spend 20.2 percent of their time on personal-needs
counseling while private school counselors devote only 11.2 percent of their
time to this activity.

Public school counselors also devote a significant amount of time (14.8 percent)
to academic testing of students, while private school counselors dedicate
only 9.4 percent of their time to this activity. The same is true for occupational
counseling and job placement: Public school counselors devote 7.9 percent of
their time to occupational and job placement counseling compared to private
school counselors, who devote 2.4 percent of their time to these activities.

20. American School Counselor Association, Appropriate and inappropriate activities for school counselors,
Retrieved from American School Counselor Association website on Feb. 2, 2010:
http://www.schoolcounselor.org/files/appropriate.pdf, 2008.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Two 38

Private school counselors dedicate more time (6.0 percent) to teaching issues
than public school counselors (4.5 percent). However, both public and private
school counselors spend 5.0 percent and 4.3 percent of their time, respectively,
on other non-guidance activities.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? The percent
of time a counselor spends on one task can be very different depending on
the grade levels assigned to the counselor. This measure looks primarily at
secondary school counselors; it does not account for the role of the elementary
or middle school counselor. The role of the elementary and middle school
counselor is just as important as that of the high school counselor in preparing
students for college. Caution should also be taken when interpreting this
measure because it is not all inclusive of every task a school counselor must
undertake. This measure reports the most common tasks for school counselors.
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) highlights all of the tasks
in which a school counselor should be competent.21 ASCA recommends
counselors address the education, vocational and personal/social development
of students. When counselors spend more time on college counseling, there is
less time to meet the demands of the other areas recommended by ASCA.

21. American School Counselor Association, School Counselor Competencies. Retrieved on Feb. 2, 2010, from
ASCA website: http://www.schoolcounselor.org/files/SCCompetencies.pdf
Three
Implement the best
research-based dropout
prevention programs
WE RECOMMEND that states and local educational
agencies adopt targeted interventions (starting in elementary
and middle schools) focused on early warning signs of
students in danger of dropping out, to identify such students
and put an educational safety net under them.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Three 40

For many educators and members of the general public, understanding why
students are dropping out of high school can be difficult, and finding solutions
to this problem is just as mysterious. The commission called for educators’
attention to the early warning signs of dropping out and for state and local
educators to take the lead in implementing dropout prevention programs.

In developing an effective dropout program, it is important to study the trends


and patterns of students who drop out of school in this country. Specifically,
we must know whether the dropout rate is increasing and which students are
most likely to drop out of high school.

The following indicators can aid legislators in understanding


these questions:

• Graduation rates for public high school students;


• National status dropout rates — Non-institutional (i.e., 16- to 24-year-olds);
• National status dropout rates — Institutional (i.e., 16- to 24-year-olds); and
• National event dropout rates (i.e., 15- to 24-year-olds).

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• In 2006, 73.4 percent of public high school students who entered high
school as freshmen graduated.
• In the United States, approximately 3.3 million 16- through 24-year-olds
were not enrolled in high school and had not earned a high school diploma
or alternative credential. In October 2007, these dropouts accounted for 8.7
percent of the 37 million non-institutionalized civilians ages 16 to 24 living in
the United States.
• In 2007, white, non–Hispanic students had the lowest dropout rates among
all racial/ethnic groups.
• In the United States, the status dropout rate was 9.3 percent for 16- to
24-year-olds in 2007. This includes those living in military barracks and those
who are in prisons, hospitals, and other institutions.22
• In 2007, the national event dropout rate was 3.5 percent for 15- to
24-year-olds.23

22. The status dropout rate represents the percentage of 16- through 24-year-olds who are not enrolled
in school and have not earned a high school credential.
23. The event dropout rate represents the proportion of youth ages 15 through 24 who drop out of grades
10 through 12 in a 12-month period.
41 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

73.4 % Graduation Rates for Public


High School Students
As of 2006, 73.4
percent of public high
3.1a
school students who
entered high school as National Average Graduation Rates for Public High School
Students, 2001–2006
freshmen graduated 5.1a
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics,
with a high school Common Core of Data (CCD), 2009
diploma.
100
90
80
71.7% 72.6% 73.9% 74.3% 74.7% 73.4%
70

60
50
40
30
20
10
0

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This


measures the percentage of public high school students who enter school
as freshmen and graduate with a diploma in four years. This measure is
important in assessing whether students are completing school in a timely
manner. This measure also shows whether adequate supports are in place
to graduate students.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? In an effort to
understand the dropout problem, it is important to know the percentage of
students who enter high school as freshmen and graduate with a diploma
in four years. Knowing this number across the nation and by state will help
policymakers gauge the seriousness of the problem in their state. Reducing
the dropout rate and increasing the graduation rate in each state will ensure
that students will be eligible for postsecondary options in higher education
and in the workforce.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Three 42

5.1c
3.1b Average Graduation Rates for Public High School Students, 2006
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Wisconsin 87.5%
Nebraska 87.0%
Iowa 86.9%
Minnesota 86.2%
New Jersey 84.8%
South Dakota 84.5%
Pennsylvania 83.5%
Vermont 82.3%
North Dakota 82.1%
Montana 81.9%
New Hampshire 81.1%
Missouri 81.0%
Connecticut 80.9%
Idaho 80.5%
Arkansas 80.4%
Maryland 79.9%
Illinois 79.7%
Massachusetts 79.5%
Ohio 79.2%
Utah 78.6%
Oklahoma 77.8%
Rhode Island 77.8%
Kansas 77.6%
Kentucky 77.2%
West Virginia 76.9%
Delaware 76.3%
Maine 76.3%
Wyoming 76.1%
Colorado 75.5%
Hawaii 75.5%
Virginia 74.5%
UNITED STATES 73.4%
Indiana 73.3%
Oregon 73.0% 31
States
Washington 72.9%
Texas 72.5% U.S. Average

Michigan 72.2% 20
North Carolina 71.8% States
Tennessee 70.6%
Arizona 70.5%
California 69.2%
New York 67.4%
New Mexico 67.3%
Alaska 66.5%
Alabama 66.2%
District of Columbia 65.4%
Florida 63.6%
Mississippi 63.5%
Georgia 62.4%
South Carolina 61.0%
AVG
Louisiana 59.5%
Nevada 55.8% 73.4
%
43 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Where are we now? In the United States in 2006, 73.4 percent of all public
school students who entered high school as freshmen graduated. Figure 3.1a
shows that the national average graduation rate remained relatively flat from
2001 to 2006, and peaked at 74.7 percent in 2005. However, in 2006, the rate
slipped lower than its 2003 level.

When the data are disaggregated by state for the average freshman graduation
rate for public high school students, the percentages range from 55.8 percent
in Nevada to 87.5 percent in Wisconsin. Figure 3.1b shows that when states
are placed in rank order, the states with the largest percentage of graduates are
Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and New Jersey. The states with the
lowest percentage of graduates are Nevada, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia
and Mississippi.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Policymakers should also keep in mind when comparing the graduation rates
across the nation that the requirements for graduation may vary from state
to state. In many states students are required to pass a state examination and
complete varying years of course work in English language arts, mathematics,
science and social studies.24

8.7
National Status Dropout Rates
% (Non-Institutional)
As of October 2007,
3.2a
approximately 3.3
National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to
5.2a
million 16- to 24-year-
24-Year-Olds, 1998–2007
olds are not enrolled Source: Cataldi, E. F., Laird, J., KewalRamani, A., Chapman, C (September 2009). High School Dropout and
in high school and Completion Rates in the United States: 2007. Compendium Report. National Center for Education Statistics

have not earned a 25


high school diploma
or alternative 20
credential. These
dropouts account 15

for 8.7 percent of 11.8% 11.2% 10.9% 10.7% 10.5% 10.3%


the 37 million non- 10 9.9% 9.4% 9.3% 8.7%
institutionalized,
civilian l6- through 5

24-year-olds living in
the United States. 0

1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

24. Doughnay, J. (2006). Alignment of high school graduation requirements and state-set college admissions
requirements. Retrieved June 17, 2010 from http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/68/60/6860.pdf
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Three 44

19.4 %
5.2b
3.2b
National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to
24-Year-Olds by Race/Ethnicity, 2007
As of 2007, Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009
American Indians
25
have a non-
institutional status 21.4%
20 19.4%
dropout rate of 19.4
percent.
15

10 AVG
8.4%
6.1%
8.7
5.3% %
5

Asian/ American African Hispanic White


Pacific Indian/ American (Non-Hispanic)
Islander Alaska Native (Non-Hispanic)

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measures

21.4%
the percentage of non-institutionalized (excluding individuals in military barracks,
prisons, and other institutions) individuals (ages 16 through 24) who are not
enrolled in high school and who do not have a high school credential (e.g., GED),
irrespective of when they dropped out of school. This measure helps to gauge
the overall educational attainment at the national level across years.
As of 2007, 5.2b
Hispanics have a What are the policy issues associated with this measure? It is important
non-institutional for 25
states to identify and support dropout students. Minority and first-generation
students are reported as more likely to be at risk of dropping out of K–12
status dropout rate 21.4%prevention program but
schools. States should not only implement a dropout
of 21.4 percent. 20 19.4%
also work to improve the high school performance of students overall.

Where
15 are we now? In the United States, approximately 3.3 million 16- to
24-year-olds were not enrolled in high school and had not earned a high school
diploma
10
or alternative credential. These dropouts accounted for 8.7 percent of
8.4% ages 16 to 24 living in the United AVG
the 37 million non-institutionalized civilians
6.1% 3.2a shows this number decreased since 1998 when the status
8.7
States. Figure 5.3% %
5
dropout rate of non-institutionalized 16- to 24-year-olds was 11.8 percent.

Asian/ American African Hispanic White


Pacific Indian/ American (Non-Hispanic)
Islander Alaska Native (Non-Hispanic)
45 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

While the status dropout rate has decreased overall, the numbers are still
high for many racial and ethnic groups. Figure 3.2b shows that in 2007 whites
and Asians had the lowest status dropout rates (5.3 percent and 6.1 percent,
respectively), the dropout rates are considerably higher among Hispanics
and American Indians (21.4 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively). African
Americans had a status dropout rate of 8.4 percent, yet this number represents
only those African Americans in the non-institutional population.

Across gender, Figure 3.2c shows that males have a higher status dropout rate
than females. The dropout rate for males is 9.8 percent compared to 7.7 percent
for females. When we look by age group, the status dropout rate is largest
among 20- to 24-year-olds. Figure 3.2d shows the rate ranges from 3.3 percent
for 16-year-olds to 11.2 percent for 20- to 24-year-olds. The status dropout rate
for 18-year-olds is 8.4 percent and 7.8 percent among 19-year-olds.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


The status dropout rate of 8.7 percent in 2007 was calculated using the United
States Census Current Population Survey (CPS), which is based on the non-
institutionalized population in the United States, including students attending
public and nonpublic schools. This rate does not provide information about
military personnel or individuals residing in group quarters, such as prison
inmates or patients in long-term medical facilities. The status dropout rate
counts individuals who may have never attended a U.S. school as a dropout.25

This status dropout rate uses the United States Census Current Population
Survey data; therefore, the estimates presented are not directly comparable
to the 2007 estimates based on the American Community Survey (ACS) data
which are presented in the next indicator.26 Unlike the CPS, the ACS includes
residents of military barracks and individuals who are institutionalized.

25. Planty, M., Hussar, W., Snyder, T., Kena, G., KewalRamani, A., Kemp, J., Bianco, K., & Dinkes, R. The condition
of education 2009, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009.
26. Planty et al., The condition of education 2009, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009, p.182,
table A-20-1.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Three 46

3.2c National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to


5.2c24-Year-Olds by Gender, 2007 5.2d
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009

25 25

20 20

15 15

11.1%
10 9.8% AVG 10
7.7% 8.4% 7.8%
8.7
%
5 5 4.5%
3.3%

0 0

Male Female 16 17 18 19 20–24

3.2d National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to


5.2d
24-Year-Olds by Age, 2007
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009

5 25

0 20

5 15

11.1%
0 9.8% AVG 10 AVG
7.7% 8.4% 7.8%
8.7 8.7
% %
5 4.5%
3.3%

Male Female 16 17 18 19 20–24


47 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.3 % National Status Dropout Rates


(Institutional)
As of 2007,
the status dropout
3.3a
rate of 16- through5.3
24-year-olds is 9.3 National Status Dropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to
24-Year-Olds, 2007
percent. This status
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009
dropout rate is based
on the American DROPOUT RATE
9.3%
Community Survey
(ACS), which includes
persons living in
military barracks in
the United States
and institutionalized
persons. CONTINUING RATE
90.7%

15.3% 3.3b
As of 2007, 5.3b National Status Dropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to
American Indians 24-Year-Olds by Race/Ethnicity, 2007
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009
have an institutional
status dropout rate 25
of 15.3 percent.
20 19.9%

11.5%
15 15.3%

11.5%
10 AVG

7.6% 7.6%
9.3
As of 2007, 6.1% %
5
African Americans 3.0%
have an institutional 0
status dropout rate
Asian Pacific American African Hispanic White Two or
of 11.5 percent. Islander Indian/ American (Non-Hispanic) More
Alaska (Non-Hispanic) Races
Native
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Three 48

19.9 % What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measures
the percentage of individuals (ages 16 through 24) who are not enrolled in high
school and who do not have a high school credential (e.g., GED), irrespective
of when they dropped out. The measure uses the American Community Survey
As of 2007, (ASC) that includes those living in military barracks in the United States and
Hispanics have an those who are institutionalized, which provides us with a broader, more inclusive
population.
institutional status
dropout rate What are the policy issues associated with this measure? It is important
of 19.9 percent. that states understand the dropout rate of institutionalized persons so that
interventions can be put in place that will prevent dropouts from falling through
the cracks. Early intervention programs may help ensure that students make
it to a college or university rather than a prison cell. While there is much debate
over whether institutionalized or non-institutionalized dropout rates are more
accurate, there is no debate about the fact that society benefits when more
people become productive citizens. These citizens will contribute to the overall
productivity of the United States and will generate more tax dollars for our
states and the nation.

Where are we now? In the United States, the status dropout rate was 9.3
percent in 2007 for 16- to 24-year-olds. This includes those living in military
barracks and institutionalized persons. The institutional status dropout rate
numbers are very high for many racial and ethnic groups. Figure 3.3b shows
that while Asians, whites and Pacific Islanders had the lowest status dropout
rates (3.0 percent, 6.1 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively); the dropout
rates are considerably higher among Hispanics, Native Americans, and African
Americans (19.9 percent, 15.3 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively).

Males have a higher status dropout rate than females (See Figure 3.3c). The
dropout rate for males is 10.9 percent compared to 7.6 percent for females.
When we look by age group, the status dropout rate is larger among 20- to
24-year-olds. Figure 3.3d shows the rate ranges from 3.2 percent for 16-year-
olds to 11.5 percent for 20- to 24-year-olds. The status dropout rate for
18-year-olds is 8.4 percent and 9.9 percent among 19-year-olds.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? This status
dropout rate was calculated using the American Community Survey (ACS),
which includes residents of military barracks in the United States and individuals
living in institutionalized group quarters including adult and juvenile correctional
facilities, nursing facilities, and other health care facilities.27

This status dropout rate uses the ACS data; therefore, estimates are not directly
comparable to the 2007 estimates based on the CPS data.

27. Planty et al. The condition of education 2009, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009.
49 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

5.3cDropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to 24-Year-Olds


5.3d
3.3c Status
by Gender, 2007
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition
of Education, 2009

25 25

20 20

15 15

10.9%
10 AVG 10 9.9%
8.4%
7.6% 9.3
%
5 5 5.3%
3.2%

0 0

Male Female 16 17 18 19

3.3d 5.3d Status Dropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to


National
24-Year-Olds by Age, 2007
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition
of Education, 2009

25

20

15

% 11.5%
AVG 10 9.9% AVG
8.4%
7.6% 9.3 9.3
% %
5 5.3%
3.2%

e Female 16 17 18 19 20–24
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Three 50

3.5 % National Event Dropout Rates

In October 2006, 3.4a


about 3.5 percent of National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds, 1998–2007
students enrolled in 5.4a Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core
grades 10 through of Data (CCD), 2009

12 in public or 25
private high schools
left school before 20
October 2007 without
completing a high 15
school program.
10

4.5 % 5

0
4.8% 5.0% 4.8% 5.0%
3.6% 4.0% 4.7%
3.8% 3.8% 3.5%

As of 2007,
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
African Americans
have an event dropout
rate of 4.5 percent. 3.4b
National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds

6.0
by Race/Ethnicity, 2007

% 5.4b Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core
of Data (CCD), 2009
Note: American Indian category is not available.

25
As of 2007,
Hispanics have an
20
event dropout rate
of 6.0 percent. 15

10
7.5%
6.0%
5 4.5% AVG
2.2%
3.5
%
0

African Hispanic Asian White


American American/ (Non-Hispanic)
(Non-Hispanic) Pacific Islander
51 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? The national
event dropout rate describes the percentage of youths ages 15 to 24 in the
United States who dropped out of grades 10 through 12 from either public
or private schools in the 12 months between one October and the next
(e.g., October 2006 to October 2007). This measure can be used to study
student experiences in high school in a given year. It helps understand which
students drop out of school during a particular period of time.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? It is important for
states to identify and support students who are most likely to drop out. From
the data, it is seen that minority students are reported as more likely to be at
risk of dropping out of high school. States should be aware that not only is it
important to implement dropout prevention programs but also to improve high
school performance overall.

Where are we now? The national event dropout rate shows the percentage
of youths who drop out in a 12-month period. In 2007, the national event
dropout rate was 3.5 percent for 15- to 24-year-olds. This includes all students
who dropped out in grades 10 through 12. Figure 3.4a shows that the national
event dropout rate has decreased over time from a high of 5.0 percent in 1999
and 2001 to a low of 3.5 percent in 2007.

However, the national event dropout rate is higher for African Americans and
Hispanics. Figure 3.4b shows that while whites had the lowest event dropout
rate at 2.2 percent, the dropout rates are more than two times higher among
Hispanics and African Americans.

When comparing gender, Figure 3.4c shows that males have a slightly higher
national event dropout rate than females. When looking across income levels,
the event dropout rate is larger among low-income 15- to 24-year-olds. Figure
3.4d shows that the national event rate for low-income students is more than
twice as high as the rate for middle and high-income students.

When the data are disaggregated by state for the event dropout rate for public
high school students in grades 9 through 12, the percentages range from 1.7
in New Jersey to 8.4 percent in Louisiana. Figure 3.4e shows that when the
data are placed in rank order, New Jersey, Connecticut, North Dakota, Iowa and
Wisconsin have the lowest percentage of national dropout rates. Louisiana,
Alaska, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona have the highest percentage of national
dropout rates.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Three 52

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


This indicator only measures how many students dropped out in a single year,
and students may reenter the school system after that time. It does not provide
a picture of the dropout problem more generally. This age range (15- through
24-year-olds) was chosen in an effort to include as many students in grades
10 through 12 as possible. Because the rate is based on retrospective data,
it is delayed one year, meaning that some 15-year-olds have turned 16 by the
time of the survey.

3.4c National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds


by Gender, 2007
5.4c 5.4d
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core
of Data (CCD), 2009

25 25

20 20

15 15

10 10
8.8%

5 5
3.7% 3.3% AVG
3.5%
3.5
% 0.9%
0 0

Male Female Low Middle High


Income Income Income

3.4d National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds


by Family Income, 2007
5.4d 5.4f
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core
of Data (CCD), 2009

25

20

15

10
8.8%

5
3.7% 3.3% AVG
3.5%
AVG

3.5 3.5
% 0.9% %
0
N
Male Female Low Middle High
Income Income Income
M
53 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

3.4e Event Dropout Rates for Public School Students in Grades 9–12
by State Rank, 2006
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), 2009
Note: Vermont, North Carolina and the District of Columbia did not meet reporting standards. South Carolina reported data that
5.4f were inconsistent with NCES definition.

0 5 10 15 20 25
New Jersey 1.7%
Connecticut 2.0%
North Dakota 2.1%
Iowa 2.2%
Wisconsin 2.2%
Kansas 2.4%
Alabama 2.5%
Idaho 2.7%
Virginia 2.7%
Nebraska 2.8%
Pennsylvania 2.8%
Tennessee 2.8%
Indiana 2.9%
Mississippi 3.0%
Arkansas 3.1%
Minnesota 3.1%
New Hampshire 3.2%
Kentucky 3.3%
Utah 3.3%
Massachusetts 3.4%
Michigan 3.5%
Oklahoma 3.6%
California 3.7%
Montana 3.7%
UNITED STATES 3.8%
Maryland 3.9%
West Virginia 3.9%
Illinois 4.0%
Florida 4.1% 24
States
Missouri 4.1%
Ohio 4.1% U.S. Average

Rhode Island 4.1%


23*
Texas 4.3% States
New York 4.4%
South Dakota 4.4%
Oregon 4.6%
Hawaii 4.7%
Georgia 5.2%
Maine 5.4%
Delaware 5.5%
New Mexico 5.5%
Washington 5.6%
Wyoming 5.7%
Arizona 7.6%
Nevada 7.7%
Colorado 7.8%
Alaska 8.0%
Louisiana 8.4%
South Carolina NA
District of Columbia NA
North Carolina NA
AVG
Vermont NA
3.8
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


Four
Align the K–12 education
system with international
standards and college
admission expectations
WE RECOMMEND that governors, legislators and
state education agencies work to provide a world-class
education to every American student by aligning high
school programs with international benchmarks tied to
the demands of college, work and life.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Four 56

The commission believes that the academic intensity of the high school
curriculum followed by students is the most important predictor of college
success. Business leaders also think that the standards required for success
in the workplace are increasingly parallel to those required for college work.28
However, too many students do not have access to a rigorous high school
curriculum and too many graduate unprepared to succeed in college or
on the job.

Students must have access to a rigorous high school curriculum that also is
aligned with the skills necessary for students to succeed in college and the
workplace. There is a real need for leaders in K–12 and higher education to work
together to align these systems. Unfortunately, a number of analyses indicate
that many state graduation standards are not adequate for preparing students
for success in college or on the job, requiring higher education institutions and
businesses to spend an estimated $17 billion on remediation.29 States must
align their standards, pedagogy, assessment and professional development
activities to meet the expectations of college and workforce readiness, which
will increase the chances that students will succeed whether they enter college
or the workforce.

Since the commission released its initial recommendations in 2008, there has
been an increased national interest in examining the educational preparation of
our students. For example, the National Governors Association and the Council
of Chief State School Officers are working together to create the National
Common Core Standards in reading, language arts and mathematics that can be
adopted by all states to ensure that students have access to a rigorous, college-
preparatory curriculum. This effort brought together a team of experts from
several education organizations, including Achieve Inc., ACT, the College Board,
and Educational Testing Service, in an effort to create standards that are aligned
to college and work.

In understanding the degree to which the nation is succeeding in aligning


K–12 education systems with international standards and college admission
expectations, three indicators will be used to monitor the progress:

• Percentage of public high schools offering Advanced Placement Program®


(AP®) or IB courses in the four core subject areas;
• Percentage of states with alignment between K–12 and higher education
standards; and
• Percentage of students in remedial classes.

28. American Diploma Project, What Is College- and Career-Ready? (Washington, D.C.: Achieve Inc., 2009).
29. Greene, J. P. The Cost of Remedial Education (Midland, MI: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 2000), 1.
57 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• As of 2009, 34.8 percent of schools in the United States offer AP or
IB courses in the four core subject areas (i.e., English language arts,
mathematics, science and social studies).
• As of 2009, 46.0 percent of states have achieved alignment between
K–12 and higher education standards. Many states are developing these
alignment policies and will have them implemented by 2011.
• As of 2000, 28.0 percent of students across the nation who enter a college
or university as freshmen are in remedial classes.

34.8 % Percentage of Public High


Schools Offering AP® or IB
As of 2009, Courses in the Four Core
34.8 percent of
public high schools
Subject Areas
in the United States What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the percentage of public high schools in the United States that offer
offer AP or IB
AP or IB courses in each of the four core subject areas: English language arts,
courses in the four mathematics, science and social studies.
core subject areas:
This indicator is important because it measures the percentage of public high
English language
schools that provide access to a rigorous high school curriculum that is aligned
arts, mathematics, with national and international standards for college readiness.
science and social
studies. What are the policy issues associated with this measure? College and
career readiness is the level of content knowledge that students should possess
in reading, mathematics, writing and communications in order to be successful
in the workforce or at an institution of higher education.30 Both AP and IB are
proven methods of rigor for high school students, and both have been shown
to improve college and workforce readiness. Although AP and IB are not the
only indicators of academic rigor that are provided in high schools, they are a
good indicator of the rigor that is available to students in public schools across
the nation. Other rigorous course work provided to students includes magnet
programs, honors programs and dual enrollment, although the data for these
programs are not yet available.

Where are we now? In the United States, 34.8 percent of public high schools
across the nation currently offer AP or IB courses in the four core subject areas
(English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies).

30. American Diploma Project, What Is College- and Career- Ready? (Washington, D.C.: Achieve Inc., 2009).
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Four 58

4.1a Percentage of Public High Schools Offering Advanced Placement®


(AP®) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Courses in the Four Core
Subject Areas, 2009
Source: The College Board and International Baccalaureate, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Maryland 67.3%
Arkansas 63.2%
New Jersey 61.1%
Georgia 60.8%
6.1f Connecticut 60.2%
Vermont 58.7%
Delaware 58.1%
Kentucky 57.7%
Massachusetts 57.6%
New Hampshire 52.4%
Virginia 52.1%
North Carolina 50.9%
Florida 48.8%
South Carolina 46.9%
Maine 46.4%
Pennsylvania 44.1%
Hawaii 42.9%
Nevada 42.2%
Rhode Island 41.8%
Indiana 40.0%
District of Columbia 39.4%
Utah 39.4%
California 38.5%
Texas 38.3%
Washington 35.4%
UNITED STATES 34.8%
New York 34.3%
Colorado 34.0% 25
States
West Virginia 33.3%
Illinois 32.3% U.S. Average
Wisconsin 29.8%
26
Mississippi 29.0% States
Ohio 28.7%
Tennessee 28.6%
Arizona 28.5%
Michigan 26.4%
Oregon 24.4%
Alabama 20.1%
Minnesota 19.9%
New Mexico 19.4%
Oklahoma 17.1%
Missouri 16.1%
Idaho 14.1%
Wyoming 14.1%
Kansas 13.4%
Louisiana 12.2%
Nebraska 10.1%
Iowa 9.2%
Alaska 7.4%
South Dakota 6.9%
Montana 6.9%
AVG
North Dakota 4.8%
34.8
%
59 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When the data are disaggregated by state for public high schools across the
nation that currently offer AP or IB courses in the four core subject areas (English
language arts, mathematics, science and social studies), the percentages range
from 4.8 percent in North Dakota to 67.3 percent in Maryland. Figure 4.1a shows
that when states are placed in rank order, the states with the largest percentage
of schools offering AP or IB courses are Maryland, Arkansas, New Jersey,
Georgia and Connecticut. The states with the smallest percentage of schools
offering AP or IB courses are North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Alaska
and Iowa.

When the data are disaggregated by state for public high schools across the
nation that currently offer AP courses in the four core subject areas (English
language arts, mathematics, science and social studies), the percentages range
from 4.8 percent in North Dakota to 67.3 percent in Maryland. Figure 4.1b
shows that when states are placed in rank order, the states with the largest
percentage of schools offering AP courses are Maryland, Arkansas, New Jersey,
Georgia and Connecticut. The states with the lowest percentage are North
Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Alaska and Iowa.

When the data are disaggregated by state for public high schools across
the nation that currently offer IB courses in the four core subject areas the
percentages range from 0.0 percent in several states to 9.9 in South Carolina.
Figure 4.1c shows that when states are placed in rank order, the states with
the largest percentage of schools offering IB courses are South Carolina,
Virginia, Maryland, Florida, Colorado and Oregon. The bottom states are
Vermont, South Dakota, Rhode Island, North Dakota and New Mexico.
None of these states offer IB programs.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


This measure should not be misconstrued to mean that only schools that offer
AP and IB courses offer a rigorous high school curriculum. Instead, this measure
should be used as a gauge of the amount of rigor available to students in public
high schools across the nation. While this measure is not a perfect yardstick to
measure rigor, it is the best measure that is available to date.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Four 60

4.1b Percentage of Public High Schools Offering Advanced Placement


(AP) in the Four Core Subject Areas, 2009
Source: The College Board and International Baccalaureate, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Maryland 67.3%
Arkansas 63.2%
New Jersey 60.1%
Georgia 59.9%
6.1b Connecticut 59.7%
Vermont 58.7%
Delaware 58.1%
Kentucky 57.3%
Massachusetts 56.8%
New Hampshire 51.2%
North Carolina 50.2%
Florida 48.6%
Virginia 47.9%
Maine 45.7%
South Carolina 44.9%
Pennsylvania 43.7%
Hawaii 42.9%
Nevada 42.2%
Rhode Island 41.8%
District of Columbia 39.4%
Utah 39.4%
Indiana 39.1%
Texas 38.0%
California 37.4%
UNITED STATES 33.9%
New York 33.1%
Colorado 33.0%
West Virginia 32.6%
24
States
Washington 32.3% U.S. Average
Illinois 31.7%
Wisconsin 28.8% 27
States
Tennessee 28.6%
Mississippi 28.3%
Ohio 28.1%
Arizona 27.4%
Michigan 25.5%
Alabama 20.1%
Oregon 19.5%
New Mexico 19.4%
Minnesota 17.9%
Oklahoma 17.1%
Missouri 15.2%
Idaho 13.0%
Kansas 12.8%
Wyoming 12.8%
Louisiana 11.7%
Nebraska 9.8%
Iowa 9.2%
Alaska 7.0%
South Dakota 6.9%
Montana 6.3%
AVG
North Dakota 4.8%
33.9
%
61 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

4.1c Percentage of Public High Schools Offering International


Baccalaureate (IB) Courses in the Four Core Subject Areas, 2009
Source: The College Board and International Baccalaureate, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
South Carolina 9.9%
Virginia 8.4%
Maryland 7.6%
Florida 7.4%
6.1d Colorado 6.1%
Oregon 5.9%
Georgia 5.3%
North Carolina 4.7%
Utah 4.4%
Indiana 4.0%
California 3.5%
Washington 3.4%
Arizona 3.3%
District of Columbia 3.0%
Alabama 2.9%
UNITED STATES 2.8%
Minnesota 2.8%
New York 2.7% 15
States
Wyoming 2.6%
Tennessee 2.5% U.S. Average

Texas 2.5% 36
Nevada 2.3% States

Delaware 2.3%
New Jersey 2.1%
Illinois 2.0%
Ohio 1.9%
Missouri 1.8%
Arkansas 1.8%
Idaho 1.6%
Wisconsin 1.6%
Hawaii 1.6%
Kentucky 1.5%
Connecticut 1.5%
Maine 1.4%
Michigan 1.4%
Mississippi 1.4%
Kansas 1.3%
Pennsylvania 1.3%
New Hampshire 1.2%
Massachusetts 1.0%
Louisiana 0.8%
Alaska 0.8%
West Virginia 0.7%
Nebraska 0.7%
Montana 0.6%
Oklahoma 0.4%
Iowa 0.3%
New Mexico 0.0%
North Dakota 0.0%
Rhode Island 0.0%
South Dakota 0.0%
AVG
Vermont 0.0%
2.8
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Four 62

45 % Percentage of States with


Alignment Between K–12 and
As of 2009, Higher Education Standards
45 percent of states
in the United States6.3a
have aligned K–12 4.2a
and higher education Percentage of States with Alignment Between High School
Standards and College and Workplace Expectations, 2009
standards.
Source: Achieve Inc., 2009

YES N/A 2%

39%
Arizona Tennessee Idaho
Arkansas Texas Illinois
California Washington Kansas
Delaware West Virginia Massachusetts
Georgia Missouri
Indiana NO Nevada
Kentucky Alaska New Hampshire
Louisiana New Mexico
As of 2009, Maine
Iowa
Montana North Carolina DEVELOPING YES 45%
Maryland Oregon
39 percent of states Michigan
North Dakota
Vermont Pennsylvania 41%
Minnesota South Carolina
in the United States Mississippi
Wyoming
South Dakota

have aligned high Nebraska


New Jersey DEVELOPING
Utah
Virginia
Alabama NO 12%
school graduation New York
Ohio Colorado
Wisconsin

Connecticut
requirements and Oklahoma
Rhode Island Florida N/A
District of Columbia
college and workplace Hawaii

expectations.
6.3b 4.2b
Percentage of States with Alignment Between High School
Graduation Requirements and College and Workplace
Expectations, 2009
Source: Achieve Inc., 2009

YES NO
Alabama Alaska West Virginia
Arizona California Wyoming
Arkansas Colorado
Delaware Idaho DEVELOPING
Georgia Illinois Connecticut
Indiana Iowa Florida
Kentucky Kansas Hawaii
Louisiana Maine Maryland YES 39% NO 43%
Michigan Massachusetts New Jersey
Minnesota Missouri Rhode Island
Mississippi Montana Utah
New Mexico Nebraska Wisconsin
New York Nevada
North Carolina New Hampshire
Ohio North Dakota N/A
Oklahoma Oregon District of Columbia
South Dakota Pennsylvania N/A 2%
Tennessee South Carolina
Texas Vermont
DEVELOPING
Washington Virginia 16%
63 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the degree to which states have policies that allow K–12 and higher
education to work together to ensure that students have access to a high school
curriculum that will prepare them for success in college. The measures that
are a part of this indicator include the percentage of states that have alignment
between high school standards and college and workplace expectations;
the percentage of states with alignment between high school graduation
requirements and college and workplace expectations; the percentage of states
with college- and career- ready assessment systems; the percentage of states
with P-20 longitudinal data systems; and the percentage of states committed to
adopting the national common core standards.

These measures are important because they establish the state environment
necessary to guarantee that students have access to a curriculum that will
ensure they are ready for college and work after leaving high school. States
that collaborate between K–12 and higher education will be better equipped to
ensure that high school and college standards are aligned so that students will
not need remediation in order to be successful in college or the workplace.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Only recently —
on a national level — have state officials, together with college leaders, begun
working to define what skills and content signify college readiness. This lack
of collaboration was the cause of confusion in the past. Parents, teachers
and colleges have no agreed-upon benchmark for what readiness entails, so
students may not be certain about what courses to take to ensure that they are
prepared. As a result, the case is not effectively being made that hard work in
high school leads to future success in college.

Unless K–12 and higher education institutions come together, high school
courses will continue to be inconsistent in their academic content and rigor.
Although some students are exposed to content-rich, stimulating classes
that build college-ready skills (e.g., AP and IB) in high school, many others
have access only to courses that offer remedial and nonacademic content.
The National Common Core Standards will define the knowledge and skills
necessary for students to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing, academic
college courses and in workforce training programs. According to the Common
Core State Standards Initiative, the National Common Core Standards will:

• Align with college and work expectations;


• Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through
high-order skills;
• Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
• Be internationally benchmarked, so that all students can be prepared
to succeed in our global economy and society; and
• Be evidence and/or research based.31

31. National Common Core Standards, 2009. Retrieved on Jan. 20, 2010, from http://www.corestandards.org/
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Four 64

Where are we now? In the United States, 23 states (45 percent) have aligned
K–12 and higher education standards. Figure 4.2a shows that an additional 21
states are in the process of developing this alignment. However, only 20 states
(39 percent) have aligned high school graduation requirements with college and
workplace expectations, and figure 4.2b shows that 8 more states are in the
process of developing this alignment. Figure 4.2c shows that 10 states
(20 percent) have developed college and career-ready assessment systems,
and 23 states are currently developing these systems. Also, Figure 4.2d shows
the 12 states (23 percent) that have developed P-20 longitudinal data systems,
while 37 other states are developing these systems. Figure 4.2e shows that
48 states and the District of Columbia have committed to adopting the National
Common Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics. This
represents 96 percent of states.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


This indicator measures the number of states that have aligned high school
standards and the expectations of college and work. The commission believes
that it is important to measure the implementation of each of these alignment
activities across the states. Equally important is the ability of states to track
students throughout their educational careers. States that implement these
data systems will be better equipped to ensure that the alignment between
K–12 and postsecondary education and the workplace continues to exist.

4.2c 6.3c Percentage of States with College and Career-Ready Assessment


Systems, 2009
Source: Achieve Inc., 2009

YES NO DEVELOPING N/A 2%


California Alabama Arizona
Colorado Alaska Arkansas
Georgia Delaware Connecticut
Illinois Idaho Florida
Kentucky Iowa Hawaii
Maine Kansas Indiana YES 20%
Michigan Missouri Louisiana
New York Montana Maryland
Tennessee Nebraska Massachusetts
DEVELOPING
Texas Nevada Minnesota
North Dakota Mississippi 45%
South Carolina New Hampshire
South Dakota New Jersey
NO 33%
Utah New Mexico
Vermont North Carolina
Virginia Ohio
Wyoming Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

N/A
District of Columbia
65 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

6.3d

4.2d Percentage of States with P–20 Longitudinal Data Systems, 2009


Source: Achieve Inc., 2009

YES DEVELOPING N/A 2%


Arkansas Alabama New Hampshire
Delaware Alaska New Jersey
Florida Arizona New Mexico
Iowa California New York
Louisiana Colorado North Carolina
Massachusetts Connecticut North Dakota YES 23%
Missouri Georgia Ohio
Oregon Hawaii Oklahoma NO 2%
Texas Idaho Pennsylvania
Utah Illinois Rhode Island
Washington Indiana South Carolina
Wyoming Kansas South Dakota DEVELOPING
Kentucky Tennessee
NO Maine Virginia 73%
Vermont Maryland West Virginia
Michigan Wisconsin
Minnesota
Mississippi N/A
Montana District of Columbia
Nebraska
Nevada

6.3e
4.2e Percentage of States Committed to Adopting the National
Common Core Standards, 2009
Source: National Governors Association & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2009

YES NO NO 4%
Alabama Montana Alaska
Arizona Nebraska Texas
Arkansas Nevada
California New Hampshire
Colorado New Jersey
Connecticut New Mexico
Delaware New York
District of Columbia North Carolina
Florida North Dakota
Georgia Ohio
Hawaii Oklahoma
Idaho Oregon YES 96%
Illinois Pennsylvania
Indiana Rhode Island
Iowa South Carolina
Kansas South Dakota
Kentucky Tennessee
Louisiana Utah
Maine Vermont
Maryland Virginia
Massachusetts Washington
Michigan West Virginia
Minnesota Wisconsin
Mississippi Wyoming
Missouri
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Four 66

6.3e

28.0 YES
%
6.4
Percentage of Students in
Remedial Classes in College
NO NO 4%
As of 2000, Alabama Montana Alaska
Arizona Nebraska Texas
28.0 percent of
Arkansas Nevada 4.3
California New Hampshire
students across
Coloradothe National Percentage of Students in Remedial College
New Jersey Classes, 2000
nation who enter
Connecticut
Delaware
a New Mexico
New York Source: NCES Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS), 2001
college or university
District of Columbia
Florida
North Carolina
North Dakota
as freshmen are
Georgiain
Hawaii
Ohio
Oklahoma
remedial classes.
Idaho Oregon YES 96%
Illinois Pennsylvania REMEDIAL
Indiana Rhode Island
Iowa South Carolina STUDENTS
Kansas South Dakota 28%
Kentucky Tennessee
Louisiana Utah
Maine Vermont NON-REMEDIAL
Maryland Virginia
Massachusetts
STUDENTS
Washington
Michigan West Virginia 72%
Minnesota Wisconsin
Mississippi Wyoming
Missouri

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the percentage of students who are required to participate in
remedial classes in reading, writing or mathematics when entering a college or
university as a freshman.

This is an important measure of the ability of K–12 systems to adequately


prepare students for college and of the need for K–12 alignment with
institutions of higher education.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Remediation in
postsecondary education is a controversial concern and a focal point of ongoing
debate in policy-related literature. Central to this discussion is the question
of whether remedial course offerings are appropriate at the college level and
whether those courses should be offered at all colleges or be restricted to
two-year colleges.32 There have also been increasing concerns about the costs
of remedial course offerings and the impact of remedial course offerings on
academic standards at four-year institutions. In response to these concerns,
some states have taken steps to reduce or eliminate remedial course offerings
at four-year institutions and to restrict the use of public funds for such courses.
Most of the debate about postsecondary remediation stems from
cost concerns.33

32. McCabe, R. No One to Waste. Denver, CO: Community College Press, 2000; Shults, C. Institutional Policies
and Practices in Remedial Education: A National Study of Community Colleges (ED447884). Washington, DC:
American Association of Community Colleges, 2000.
33. Hoyt, J., & Sorenson, C. (2001). High School Preparation, Placement Testing, and College Remediation.
Journal of Developmental Education, 25(2): 26–33.
67 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Where are we now? As of 2000, 28.0 percent of students across the nation
who enter a college or university as a freshman are enrolled in remedial classes.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


National Center for Education Statistics studies provide a working definition
of postsecondary remedial education as courses in reading, writing or
mathematics for college-level students lacking those skills necessary to perform
college-level work at the level required by the institution.34 Students participating
in remedial education in college may not earn credit toward their degrees by
completion of these courses. Specifically, the NCES data tell us what proportion
of entering freshmen were enrolled in remedial courses in fall 2000.

The study was conducted through the NCES Postsecondary Education Quick
Information System (PEQIS) and has not been replicated since 2000. The
PEQIS is designed to collect small amounts of policy-relevant data on a quick
turnaround basis from a previously recruited, nationally representative sample
of two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions. The unweighted survey
response rate was 95 percent, and the weighted response rate was 96 percent.
This study is based on a sample of all colleges and universities.

34. Parsad, B., Lewis, L., & Greene, B. “Remedial Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions in Fall
2000,” National Center for Education Statistics, November 2003.
Five
Improve teacher quality
and focus on recruitment
and retention
WE RECOMMEND that states, localities and the federal
government step up to the crisis in teaching by providing
market-competitive salaries, creating multiple pathways
into teaching, and fixing the math and science crisis.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 70

Teachers are the key to excellence in education, and there must be focused
efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers. In its first report
to the nation, the commission stated it was critical that the United States
substantially improve the quality of teachers to ensure students have the benefit
of learning from the most educated and innovative teachers possible.

Regrettably, states are still struggling with the recruitment of teachers who
meet minimum professional standards. In 2006, Guarino, Sanitbañez, and Daley
described the recruitment and retention of teachers using economic labor
market theory. They wrote:

“… economic labor market theory suggests that the willingness of individuals


to obtain the necessary qualifications and work as teachers depends on the
desirability of the teaching profession relative to alternative opportunities.
Individuals compare the overall compensation — salaries, benefits, working
conditions, and various forms of rewards — offered by teaching with that
offered by other jobs or activities available to them. Schools and districts can
influence elements of overall compensation to bring supply in line with their
demand for teachers. In addition, they may adjust their standards of teacher
quality according to whether teachers are in short or large supply.”35

Despite the complexity of attracting people to the teaching profession, it is


necessary to ensure that the quality of the individuals serving as teachers
is constantly improving.

There are multiple approaches to assessing the degree to which the


United States is improving the quality of its teachers; those featured
in this report include:

• State encouragement and support for teacher professional development;


• Percentage of public school teachers in grades 9 through 12 by field;
• State policies on out-of-field teachers;
• Percentage of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees earned in
education; and
• Number of teachers leaving the profession.

35. Guarino, C. M., Santibañez, L., & Daley, G. A. (2006). Teacher recruitment and retention: A review of the recent
empirical literature. Review of Educational Research, 76(2):173–208.
71 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• As of the 2007–2008 academic year, 80.0 percent of states have
professional development standards for K–12 teachers.
• During the 2007–2008 school year, the majority of the public high school
teachers taught English or language arts (15.9 percent) followed by
mathematics (13.4 percent), vocational/technical (12.8 percent), natural
sciences (11.6 percent) and social sciences (11.4 percent).
• As of the 2007–2008 academic year, only 10.0 percent of states require
parental notification of out-of-field teachers for K–12 students.
• As of 2007–2008, only 8.0 percent of states have a ban or cap on the
number of out-of-field teachers in K–12 classrooms.
• In 2006, 8.5 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 30.6 percent of master’s
degrees and 29.8 percent of doctoral degrees were awarded in education.
• As of the 2004–2005 academic year, 8.0 percent of public school teachers
did not return to the teaching profession.
• As of the 2004–2005 academic year, 14.0 percent of private school teachers
did not return to the teaching profession.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 72

80 % State Encouragement
and Support for Teacher
As of the 2007–2008 Professional Development
academic year,
41 states have 7.1a
professional 5.1a
development States with Professional Development Standards, 2008
standards for K–12 Source: National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2008

teachers.
YES NO
Alabama Montana Alaska
Arizona New Hampshire California

47
Arkansas New Jersey District of Columbia

%
Colorado New Mexico Idaho
Connecticut New York Illinois
Delaware North Carolina Nebraska
NO 20%
Florida North Dakota Nevada
Georgia Ohio South Dakota
Hawaii Oklahoma Texas NO YES 80%
Indiana Oregon Wisconsin
As of the 2007–2008 Iowa Pennsylvania
Kansas Rhode Island
academic year, Kentucky South Carolina
Louisiana Tennessee
24 states finance Maine Utah
Maryland Vermont
professional Massachusetts Virginia

development for Michigan


Minnesota
Washington
West Virginia
all districts. Mississippi
Missouri
Wyoming

7.1b
5.1b
States that Finance Professional Development for All Districts, 2008
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2008

YES
Alabama Utah Massachusetts
Arkansas Virginia Michigan
Delaware Washington Mississippi
Georgia West Virginia New Hampshire
Hawaii Wisconsin New Jersey
Iowa New Mexico
Kentucky New York
Louisiana NO Ohio
Alaska
Maryland
Arizona
Oklahoma NO 53% YES 47%
Minnesota Oregon
Missouri California South Dakota
Montana Colorado Tennessee
Nebraska Connecticut Texas
Nevada District of Columbia Vermont
North Carolina Florida Wyoming
North Dakota Idaho
Pennsylvania Illinois
Rhode Island Indiana
South Carolina Kansas
Maine
73 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? To ensure that
teachers in the United States continue to be skilled, there is a critical need
for ongoing professional development initiatives. These initiatives can take on
many forms and need to be tracked. The measures identified in this section
give the number and percentage of states that have made teacher professional
development a priority.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Schools and
districts are encouraged to show they have processes and procedures in
place to provide professional development for their teachers. However, these
professional development opportunities must be aligned with other goals and
objectives within a school, district and/or state. Alignment of the professional
development opportunities for teachers will ensure that the knowledge and
skills of the teachers are being developed in the most effective areas.

Where are we now? As of 2008, Figure 5.1a shows there are 41 states (80
percent) that have professional development standards for K–12 teachers.
Figure 5.1b illustrates that 24 states (47 percent) finance professional
development for all districts in the state. Figure 5.1c shows that 16 states
(31 percent) require districts to set aside time for professional development.
In Figure 5.1d, 30 states (59 percent) require districts to align professional
development with local priorities and goals. Finally, Figure 5.1e shows that
38 states (75 percent) provide incentives for K–12 teachers to earn National
Board Certification.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? Professional


development can take many different forms, with varying degrees of
effectiveness. Although tracking the number of states with professional
development initiatives is helpful in understanding the degree to which teachers
have further educational opportunities beyond formal schooling, it is also
important to track the effectiveness of the professional development courses.
Effective programs should be promulgated to other districts and other states,
whereas ineffective programs should be identified and discontinued.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 74

7.1c
5.1c States that Require Districts/Schools to Set Aside Time for
Professional Development, 2008
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2008

YES NO
Alabama Alaska Nevada
Arkansas Arizona New Hampshire
Connecticut California New Jersey
Delaware Colorado New Mexico
Georgia District of Columbia North Carolina
Kentucky Florida Ohio
Louisiana Hawaii Oklahoma
YES 31%
Michigan Idaho Oregon
Montana Illinois Pennsylvania
Nebraska Indiana Rhode Island
New York Iowa South Dakota
North Dakota Kansas Texas NO 69%
South Carolina Maine Utah
Tennessee Maryland Virginia
Vermont Massachusetts Washington
West Virginia Minnesota Wisconsin
Mississippi Wyoming
Missouri

7.1d
5.1d States that Require Districts to Align Professional Development
with Local Priorities and Goals, 2008
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2008

YES NO
Arkansas North Carolina Alabama
Florida North Dakota Alaska
Georgia Oklahoma Arizona
Hawaii Pennsylvania California
Indiana Rhode Island Colorado
Iowa South Carolina Connecticut
Kansas Tennessee Delaware
Kentucky Utah District of Columbia
Louisiana Vermont Idaho NO 41% YES 59%
Maryland West Virginia Illinois
Massachusetts Wisconsin Maine
Michigan Mississippi
Minnesota Nebraska
Missouri New Hampshire
Montana Ohio
Nevada Oregon
New Jersey South Dakota
New Mexico Texas
New York Virginia
Washington
Wyoming
75 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

7.1e
5.1e States that Provide Incentives for Teachers to Earn National Board
Certification, 2008
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2008

YES NO
Alabama Missouri Alaska
Arizona Montana Colorado
Arkansas Nevada Connecticut
California New Jersey District of Columbia
Delaware New York Indiana
Florida North Carolina Minnesota
Georgia North Dakota Nebraska
NO 25%
Hawaii Ohio New Hampshire
Idaho Oklahoma New Mexico
Illinois Pennsylvania Oregon
Iowa Rhode Island Tennessee
Kansas South Carolina Texas YES 75%
Kentucky South Dakota Utah
Louisiana Vermont
Maine Virginia
Maryland Washington
Massachusetts West Virginia
Michigan Wisconsin
Mississippi Wyoming
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 76

15.9 % Percentage of Public School


Teachers in Grades 9 Through
As of the 2007–2008 12 by Field
academic year, 15.9
percent of public
high school teachers 5.2a
taught English or
7.3a
language arts classes. Percentage of Public School Teachers of Grades 9 Through 12
by Field, 2008
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009

13.4 %
25

20

15.9%
15
As of the 2007–2008 13.4% 12.8%
11.6% 11.4%
academic year, 13.4 10 10.2%
percent of public 7.5% 6.7%
5.9%
high school teachers 5 4.7%
taught mathematics
0
classes.
Arts and English or Foreign Health and Math Natural Social Special Vocational/ All Other
Music Language Languages Physical Sciences Sciences Education Technical
Arts Education

11.6 % 7.3b 5.2b


Percentage of Public School Teachers of Grades 9
Through 12 in STEM Fields by Race/Ethnicity, 2008
Mathematics
Natural Sciences
Mathem
Natural

As of the 2007–2008 Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009

academic year, 11.6


86.4%
81.2%

90
percent of public
80
high school teachers
70
taught science 60
classes. 50
40

30

20
7.3%

6.9%
5.5%

4.2%

10
2.9%

2.0%

1.1%
0.8%
0.4%
0.7%

0.2%
0.4%

0
Asian American Indian/ Pacific African Hispanic White Two or
Alaska Native Islander American More Races
77 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? The primary
teaching assignment of public school teachers for grades 9 through 12 is
represented in this measure. This measure gives the percentage of teachers
assigned to all fields; but, in particular, it highlights the demand for teachers
in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This
information is important because it represents the areas in which students
are receiving the most instruction.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The number of
grades 9 through 12 teachers in a specific subject area is closely related to the
course requirements for graduation. If states require students to complete a
specific sequence of courses to receive a high school diploma, it is expected
that the schools offer these courses to students. As a result, policymakers
should work with schools and districts to ensure that students are receiving
instruction in the areas that will count toward graduation.

Where are we now? Figure 5.2a shows that the highest percentage of teachers
are in English or language arts (15.9 percent) while teachers in the social
sciences are at 11.4 percent. Collectively, 25.0 percent of teachers are in STEM
fields with 13.4 percent in mathematics and 11.6 percent in the natural sciences.

An exploration of the race/ethnicity of teachers in STEM fields shows that 81.2


percent of mathematics teachers and 86.4 percent of natural science teachers
are white (Figure 5.2b). In comparison, African Americans account for 7.3
percent of mathematics teachers and 5.5 percent of science teachers. Similarly,
Hispanics account for 6.9 percent of mathematics teachers and 4.2 percent
of natural science teachers. This is a trend that must change with the changing
demographics of school-age children. Teachers in STEM fields, and all fields,
should mirror the changing demographics of our country.

Figure 5.2c shows the majority of teachers in both the mathematics and natural
science fields are women. Women account for 56.8 percent of mathematics
teachers and 53.8 percent of science teachers.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 78

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


This measure accounts for the primary teaching assignment of teachers in
grades 9 through 12. This measure does not speak to academic rigor of the
courses being taught. It is important to know what subjects are being taught
in the schools, but it is equally important that these courses have a competitive
level of rigor across the schools, districts, states and the nation. Currently, the
level of rigor in all high school courses is not measured; however, the Advanced
Placement Course Audit36 may provide a framework for implementing such
a measure for all high school courses.

Mathematics 7.3c
Natural Sciences 5.2c Percentage of Public School Teachers of Grades 9 Mathematics
Natural Sciences
Through 12 in STEM Fields by Gender, 2008
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009

90
Mathematics
80 Natural Sciences
70

60 56.8%
53.8%
50
46.2%
43.2%
40

30

20

10

Male Female

36. The College Board (2010). AP Course Audit. Retrieved March 21, 2010, from
http://www.collegeboard.com/html/apcourseaudit/
79 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

10 % State Policies on
Out-of-Field Teachers
As of the 2007–2008
academic year, 7.4a 5.3a
there are only five
States that Require Parental Notification of Out-of-Field
states that require
Teachers, 2008
parental notification Source: National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2008
of out-of-field
YES
teachers for K–12 Arkansas Kansas Oklahoma
Florida Kentucky Oregon
students. Georgia Louisiana Pennsylvania YES
Hawaii Maine Rhode Island
New Mexico Maryland South Carolina
10%
Massachusetts South Dakota

8
NO Michigan Tennessee

% Alabama Minnesota Texas


Alaska Mississippi Utah
Arizona Missouri Vermont
California Montana Virginia
Colorado Nebraska Washington NO 90%
Connecticut Nevada West Virginia
New Hampshire Wisconsin
As of the 2007–2008 Delaware
District of Columbia New Jersey Wyoming
New York
academic year, there Idaho
Illinois North Carolina

are only four states Indiana


Iowa
North Dakota
Ohio
that have a ban or
cap on the number of
out-of-field teachers
7.4b
in K–12 classrooms. 5.3b
States that Have a Ban or Cap on the Number of Out-of-Field
Teachers, 2008
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2008

YES YES 8%
Florida Idaho New York
Kentucky Illinois North Carolina
Nebraska Indiana North Dakota
South Carolina Iowa Ohio
Kansas Oklahoma
NO Louisiana Oregon
Alabama Maine Pennsylvania
Alaska Maryland Rhode Island
Arizona Massachusetts South Dakota
Arkansas Michigan Tennessee
California Minnesota Texas
Mississippi Utah
Colorado
Missouri Vermont
NO 92%
Connecticut
Delaware Montana Virginia
District of Columbia Nevada Washington
Georgia New Hampshire West Virginia
Hawaii New Jersey Wisconsin
New Mexico Wyoming
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 80

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? A hallmark of


a qualified teacher is that he or she received an education in the same field
in which they now teach. Regrettably, due to limited availability of individuals
who are choosing to pursue positions in the teaching field, there are increasing
numbers of schools that allow teachers to teach classes that are not in
the primary focus of their formal education. This measure seeks to gain an
understanding of the number and percentage of states that notify their students
and parents when a teacher is teaching out-of-field. The measure also provides
the number and percentage of states that have a ban or cap on the number of
out-of-field teachers permissible in classrooms.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The identification
of out-of-field teachers is a very sensitive issue for schools and districts.
Identification of these teachers in their schools may adversely affect the
schools’ accreditation or reputation.37 Implementing policies that require states
to send parental notification or place a ban or cap on the number of out-of-field
teachers will bring attention to those middle and high school teachers who have
little or no formal training in the subject matter they teach.

Where are we now? Currently, only five states require parental notification
of out-of-field teachers. These states are Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii and
New Mexico. Figure 5.3a shows this represents only 10 percent of states
in the United States. As of 2008, there are only four states that have a ban or
cap on the number of out-of-field teachers that are allowed. These states were
Florida, Kentucky, Montana and South Carolina. Figure 5.3b shows that this
represents a mere 8 percent of states.

37. Ingersoll, R. M. (1999). The problem of underqualified teachers in American secondary schools. Educational
Researcher, 28(2): 26–37. Ingersoll, R. M. (2003). Out-of-field teaching and the limits of teacher policy. (Center
for the Study of Teaching and Policy and The Consortium for Policy Research in Education)
http://depts.washington.edu/ctpmail/PDFs/LimitsPolicy-RI-09-2003.pdf
81 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Although parental notification and bans or caps on the number of out-of-field
teachers can, in part, aid in improving the quality of teachers in the United
States, the indicator does little to protect students from teachers who received
their degree in the field in which they teach yet fail to provide an acceptable
teaching experience, yielding students who are uneducated despite the
teacher’s perceived qualifications.

Parental notification, as well as caps and bans can also be problematic in


regions in which there are simply not enough teachers to fill classrooms.
By instituting such policies schools are challenged to find teachers who are
both skilled educators and fit the necessary qualifications for effectiveness.
School districts, if possible, may offer monetary incentives to recruit qualified,
in-subject teachers to relocate to less desirable locations.

Finally, few mechanisms exist to allow a teacher to become qualified as an


in-field educator. With few exceptions, teachers must return for formal
schooling to be termed an in-field teacher, even if the educator acquires the
requisite knowledge without formal schooling.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 82

8.5 % Percentage of Bachelor’s,


Master’s and Doctoral Degrees
As of 2006, Earned in Education
8.5 percent of
bachelor’s degrees 7.5a
5.4a Bachelor’s
earned are in Master’s
Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral Doctoral
education.
Degrees Earned in Education, 1997–2006
Source: National Science Foundation, 2009

30.6%
80

70

60

As of 2006, 50

30.6 percent of 40 38.1% 36.8% 37.5% 35.9% 35.9%


35.5% 34.6%
master’s degrees 30
31.8%
29.8%
earned are in 29.8% 30.1% 30.3% 30.6%
20 27.1% 27.9% 28.3% 29.1%
education. 26.7%
10

0 9.7% 9.7% 9.6% 9.4% 9.2% 8.9% 8.7% 8.5% 8.5%

29.8%
1997 1998 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

7.5b 5.4b Bachelor’s


Master’s
As of 2006, Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral Doctoral
29.8 percent of Degrees Earned in Education by Race/
doctoral degrees Ethnicity, 2006
earned are in Source: National Science Foundation, 2009
78.6%

education.
Bachelor
80
68.9%

Master 70
62.6%

Doctorate
60

50

40

30

20
10.4%
9.2%

9.2%
7.5%
6.7%
6.4%

10
4.7%

3.8%
2.9%
2.3%

2.3%
1.9%

0.8%
0.6%
0.6%

Asian/ American Indian/ African Hispanic White Other/


Pacific Islander Alaska Native American (Non-Hispanic) Unknown
(Non-Hispanic)
83 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? The percentage
of degrees granted in education speaks to the percentage of graduates who
may be eligible for teacher licensure. This measure gives the percentage of
bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees earned in education by sex, race/
ethnicity and citizenship.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Students seeking
teacher licensure or certification upon graduation are encouraged to attend
an institution with an approved education program. The National Council for
Accreditation of Teacher Education38 is a membership organization that provides
standards by which schools of education are assessed to determine the level
of rigor in the curriculum and the quality of the teacher preparation programs.

Where are we now? As of 2006, 8.5 percent of bachelor’s degrees earned in the
United States are in education. Figure 5.4a shows that the number of bachelor’s
degrees earned in education is down from 9.7 percent in 1997. However, 30.6
percent of master’s degrees earned in the United States are in the field of
education. This number increased from 26.7 percent in 1997 to 30.6 percent in
2006. The percentage of doctoral degrees earned in higher education is at 29.8
percent. Figure 5.4a shows that the percentage of doctoral degrees earned has
declined from 38.1 percent in 1997 to 29.8 percent in 2006.

Figure 5.4b illustrates the percentage of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral


degrees earned in education by race/ethnicity in 2006. Whites represented
78.6 percent of all bachelor’s degrees earned in education, 68.9 percent of all
master’s degrees earned in education and 62.6 percent of all doctoral degrees
earned in education.

When we look at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees earned in education


as of 2006, we find that most degrees are earned by women. Figure 5.4c
shows that women accounted for 74.9 percent of bachelor’s degrees earned
in education, 76.5 percent of all master’s degrees earned in education and
65.1 percent of all doctoral degrees earned in education. Men comprised 25.1
percent, 23.5 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively.

38. National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (2010). Retrieved March 21, 2010, from
http://www.ncate.org/
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 84

5.4c Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral Bachelor’s


7.5c Degrees Earned in Education by Gender, 2006 Master’s
Doctoral
Source: National Science Foundation, 2009

76.5%
74.9%
80
Bachelor Bachelor
Master Master

65.1%
70
Doctorate Doctorate
60

50

34.8%
40
25.1%
23.5%

30

20

10

Male Female

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Although this measure gives the percentage of degrees earned in education;
the measure for bachelor’s degrees includes various areas of education beyond
the teacher education, such as educational psychology, religious education,
school psychology and athletic training. The measures for master’s and doctoral
degrees also include a variety of areas in education beyond teacher education
including the following: curriculum and instruction, education statistics, school
psychology and education evaluation, among other areas. This is not a direct
measure of the number of graduates completing an approved teacher
education program.
85 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

8.4 % Percentage of Teachers Leaving


the Profession
As of 2004–2005,
8 percent of public 5.5a
school teachers did National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Public
not return to the Profession, 1989–2005 Private
7.7a
teaching profession. Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics,
Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), 2005

30

13.6 % 25

20

As of 2004–2005,
15 13.6%
14 percent of private 12.7% 12.3% 11.9% 12.5%
school teachers did 10
8.4%
not return to the 7.4%
5.6% 6.6%
5.1%
teaching profession. 5

1989 1992 1995 2001 2005

5.5b
National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Public
Private
Profession by Race/Ethnicity, 2005
7.7b
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics,
Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), 2005

30
ic Pu
ate Pr
25
23.0%
22.1%
20

15
13.6%
13.0%
11.0%
10 10.3%
9.3%
7.6% 8.2% 8.4%

5
1.9%
0

Asian/ American Indian/ African Hispanic White Total


Pacific Islander Alaska Native American
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 86

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? Teacher


attrition occurs for a variety of reasons; however, many teachers have cited
dissatisfaction with the various aspects of the job as their reason for leaving.39
This measure tracks the percentage of teachers leaving the profession. Knowing
this percentage will give insight into the number of teachers needed to be
recruited and trained to replace those leaving the profession.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Teacher turnover
can be very costly. These teachers have received professional development
and other support services during their tenure that will have to be repeated for
their replacement. Schools with high poverty rates and high minority student
populations are losing their teachers at a higher rate than other schools.40 The
Alliance for Excellent Education (2005) estimates that the cost of replacing
teachers who leave the profession is $2.2 billion per year.41 The cost, based on
the Department of Labor’s conservative estimate of 30 percent of the leaving
employee’s salary, varies by school, district and state.

Where are we now? In 2005, 8.4 percent of public school teachers and 13.6
percent of private school teachers left the profession in the United States.
Figure 5.5a shows that the number of public and private school teachers leaving
the profession has risen steadily since 1992.

Figure 5.5b presents the percentage of teachers leaving the profession by


race/ethnicity in 2005. Among public school teachers leaving the profession,
the rates are lowest among American Indian and Alaska Native teachers (1.9
percent) and highest among African American (11.0 percent) and Asian and
Pacific Islander (10.3 percent) teachers. Among private school teachers leaving,
the rate is lowest among Asian and Pacific Islander (7.6 percent) and American
Indian and Alaska Native (7.8 percent) teachers and highest among African
American (23.0 percent) and Hispanic (22.1 percent) teachers.

Figure 5.5c shows the percentage of teachers leaving the profession by gender.
Male teachers are leaving the profession at a rate of 7.7 percent for public
schools and 14.2 percent for private schools. Female teachers are leaving
the profession at a rate of 8.6 for public schools and 13.4 percent for private
schools. Figure 5.5d looks at the percentage of teachers leaving the profession
by age. The figure shows that public school teachers who are leaving the
profession tend to do so during retirement age (60 and over).

39. Ingersoll, R.M. (2001). Teacher turnover and teacher shortages: An organizational analysis. American
Educational Research Journal, 38(3): 499–534.
40. Barnes, G., Crowe, E., & Schafer, B. (2007). The cost of teacher turnover in five school districts:
A pilot study. Retrieved Feb. 19, 2010, from
http://www.nctaf.org/resources/demonstration_projects/turnover/TeacherTurnoverCostStudy.htm p.50.
41. Alliance for Excellent Education (2005). Teacher attrition: A costly loss to the nation and to the states. Retrieved
Feb. 19, 2010, from: http://www.all4ed.org/publications/TeacherAttrition.pdf#search=%22alliance%20for%20
excellent%20education%20cost%20of%20turnover%22, 1.
87 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

5.5c National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Profession Public


Private
by Gender, 2005
7.7c
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and
Staffing Survey (SASS), 2005

30
Public
Private
25

20

15
14.2% 13.6%
13.4%

10
8.6%
7.7% 8.4%

Male Female Total

5.5d National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Profession Public


Private
by Age, 2005
7.7d Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools
and Staffing Survey (SASS), 2005
28.0%

30
Public
Private
25
21.2%

20.7%

21.2%
21.2%
18.0%

20
13.6%
14.2%

15
10.7%
10.6%

9.8%
8.6%

10
8.4%
6.8%

5.3%
4.8%

Less Than 25 25 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 to 59 60 to 64 65 and Over Total


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Five 88

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


This measure accounts for teachers who left the profession. This measure
does not take into account teachers who change schools or relocate to different
states. This measure also does not consider the reasons for which teachers
are leaving the profession. Many teachers are dissatisfied with their working
conditions, but the specific situations with which they are unhappy are not
captured in this measure. A study by the National Center for Education Statistics
(1995) suggests that teachers leave for reasons related to salary and benefits.42

42. National Center for Education Statistics. Which types of schools have the highest teacher turnover? IB-5-95.
August 1995. Retrieved June 17, 2010 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs95/web/95778.asp
Six
Clarify and simplify
the admission process
WE RECOMMEND that public and private institutions
of higher education continue to uphold the highest
professional standards in admission and financial aid
and collaborate to make the admission process more
transparent and less complex.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 90

The commission and the College Board’s Task Force on Admissions in the
21st Century believe that higher education needs to reduce the complexity
of the admission process and demystify it. The commission believes that
the college admission process should be easily maneuvered by all students.
Simplifying the admission process does not necessarily mean requiring fewer
application components. Application requirements should be driven in large part
by the desire to gain sufficient insight into the student’s potential for success,
and the process should be dedicated toward providing a complete picture of
the applicant. Applicants will benefit from increased transparency in admission
terminology and greater clarity in how admission decisions are made. For
example, many students agonize over the subtleties of recommended versus
required application components. Others devote an extraordinary amount
of time to interviews, many of which will play little to no role in the admission
decisions. Limiting application requirements to elements that lend meaningful
insight about the student and to those truly factored into decisions will benefit
applicants, as well as the admission officers tasked with reading applications.

Complexity of the process is relative to the student, and no single metric exists
with which to assess it. While many applicants approach the admission process
as well-informed consumers with a comprehensive support system (e.g.,
counselors, tutors and parents who have experienced the admission process),
far more — especially those from minority, low-income and first-generation
college-going backgrounds — encounter the admission process without this
backing. Modern technology has led to several innovations that ultimately serve
to streamline and simplify the admission process and have the potential to
reach a broader array of applicants. It remains to be seen how phone-based
applications or social-media tools will be used to enhance the application
experience for students. Thus, we focus here primarily on the growth of online
application tools.

We look at the admission process from both the student’s and institution’s
perspective and focus on four indicators:

• Percentage of four-year colleges with applications available online;


• Percentage of four-year colleges to which students can submit applications
online;
• Percentage of four-year colleges that participate in national application
systems; and
• Immediate enrollment rate for high school graduates.
91 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• As of 2008, 80.9 percent of four-year colleges report that their application
is available online through their website.
• As of 2008, applicants are able to submit applications online to 73.4 percent
of four-year colleges.
• For the 2008–2009 admission year, 20.4 percent of four-year institutions
participated in national application systems that aim to streamline the
admission process.
• As of 2007, 67.2 percent of high school completers enrolled in a two- or four-
year college immediately after completing high school.

80.9 % Percentage of Four-Year


Colleges with Admission
As of 2008, Applications Available Online
80.9 percent of four-
year colleges report 6.1a
the availability of
their application National Percentage of Four-Year Colleges with Admission
online through their Applications Available Online, 2001–2008
Source: College Board Annual Survey of Colleges, NCES/IPEDS, 2010
websites. 8.1a Note: Analysis limited to four-year, degree-granting, not-for-profit, TitleIV-participating institutions located
in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

100

90
80.6% 80.9%
80 74.4% 76.8%
69.7%
70 66.2%
60.6%
60
53.1%
50

40

30

20

10

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 92

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? The admission
landscape fundamentally changed as the process transitioned from one based
on paper materials to one focused more on electronic means of communication.
Institutions have made great strides over the past decade and a half in utilizing
the Web as an outreach tool for a new generation of technologically savvy
applicants. Admission officers quickly recognized the potential of the Web to
disseminate applications to a broader range of applicants than the institution
might have attracted through traditional mailings.

We believe that one of the first steps toward simplifying the process for all
students is for institutions to make their applications readily available online. This
removes potential obstacles for applicants, such as having to call during school
hours to reach the admission office during business hours or missing a deadline
because of insufficient turnaround time to request, complete and return the
application.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Institutions
and their applicants will benefit from policies that increase the availability of
applications online. For most institutions, this means ensuring that adequate
staff and financial resources are in place to develop, maintain and improve the
admission website. In addition, outreach efforts that aim to connect students
with the online application must be in place.

Where are we now? In the United States in 2008, 80.9 percent of four-year
colleges and universities have admission applications available online. Figure
6.1a shows that the number of colleges that have admission applications
available online has grown from a low of 53.1 percent in 2001 to a high of 80.9
percent in 2008.

When the data are disaggregated by state, the percentages range from 50.0
percent in Arizona to 100 percent in Hawaii and Wyoming. Figure 6.1b shows
that when states are placed in rank order, the states that have the highest
percentage of admission applications online are Hawaii, Wyoming, Maine, West
Virginia and Iowa. The states that have the lowest percentage of admission
applications online are Arizona, Mississippi, Delaware, New York and Arkansas.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? The Annual
Survey of Colleges is based on self-reported information from the institution,
and colleges do not necessarily respond to all questions on the survey. This
indicator is calculated solely from affirmative responses (i.e., those institutions
explicitly indicating that the application is available online through the college’s
website). This may slightly underestimate the proportion of four-year colleges
with the option.
93 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

6.1b Percentage of Four-Year Colleges with Admission Applications


Available Online by State Rank, 2008
Source: College Board Annual Survey of Colleges, NCES/IPEDS, 2010
8.1c Note: Analysis limited to four-year, degree-granting, not-for-profit, TitleIV-participating institutions located
in the 50 states and District of Columbia.

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Hawaii 100.0%
Wyoming 100.0%
Maine 95.0%
West Virginia 95.0%
Iowa 94.4%
Pennsylvania 92.9%
Virginia 91.1%
Colorado 90.9%
Vermont 89.5%
Connecticut 88.0%
Idaho 87.5%
Massachusetts 87.5%
Nebraska 87.5%
Nevada 87.5%
New Hampshire 87.5%
Wisconsin 86.8%
North Carolina 86.7%
Kansas 86.2%
Maryland 85.3%
South Carolina 85.3%
North Dakota 84.6%
Ohio 84.6%
Kentucky 83.9%
New Mexico 83.3%
Minnesota 82.5%
Indiana 82.4%
Rhode Island 81.8%
Georgia 81.5%
Illinois 81.1%
UNITED STATES 80.9%
Oregon 80.6%
District of Columbia 80.0% 29
States
Michigan 80.0%
Montana 80.0% U.S. Average

Tennessee 79.2% 22
Alabama 78.8% States
New Jersey 78.4%
Texas 77.8%
Florida 77.5%
South Dakota 76.9%
Missouri 76.4%
Oklahoma 75.9%
Alaska 75.0%
Washington 73.3%
Louisiana 73.1%
California 71.1%
Utah 70.0%
Arkansas 69.6%
New York 68.7%
Delaware 66.7% AVG
Mississippi
Arizona
63.2%
50.0%
80.9
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 94

73.4 % Percentage of Four-Year


Colleges that Accept Admission
As of 2008, Applications Online
applicants are able to
submit applications
online to 73.4 percent 6.2a
of four-year colleges. National Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Accept Admission
Applications Online, 2001–2008
Source: College Board Annual Survey of Colleges, NCES/IPEDS, 2010
8.2a Note: Analysis limited to four-year, degree-granting, not-for-profit, TitleIV-participating institutions located in
the 50 states and District of Columbia.

100

90

80
70.9% 73.4%
70 67.8%
64.6%
60 59.2%
54.2%
50 47.7%
40 38.0%
30

20

10

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? The previous
measure demonstrates that the vast majority of four-year institutions have
made their applications available through their websites. This indicator examines
a similar issue but focuses more specifically on the ability to submit the
application electronically.

The technology with which to submit the application online lagged slightly
behind the general availability of applications online. Given the impressive
increases in the proportion of four-year colleges with this technology, it is clear
that institutions are making this a priority. This is important because the ability
to submit the application online streamlines the process for students and frees
up resources in the admission office. In theory, if these resources are no longer
devoted to the manual entry of data, they can be used in other productive ways
to improve the admission process.
95 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Of increasing
concern is the complexity involved when some, but not all, elements of the
application can be submitted electronically. Institutions should ensure that
students fully understand which requirements have been submitted and which
elements may require additional work on the student’s part (i.e., contacting
teachers for recommendations to be sent directly to the college or for the
school to send the transcript or counselor recommendation). Secondary schools
and higher education institutions should increase outreach to students to
increase levels of understanding of how to effectively use these tools.

Additionally, institutions should make sure that online application tracking


technology does not sacrifice accuracy for efficiency. Online application
submission tools also should be designed to ensure the integrity of the
information being sent, particularly as schools increasingly use such technology
to submit confidential student information such as recommendations or
transcripts.

Where are we now? While many institutions have applications available online,
not all institutions are equipped to accept these applications electronically.
Currently, 73.4 percent of four-year colleges and universities in the United
States accept admission applications online. Figure 6.2a shows that the number
of colleges that accept admission applications online grew from a low of 38.0
percent in 2001 to a high of 73.4 percent in 2008.

When the data are disaggregated by state for four-year colleges and universities
that accept admission applications online, the percentages range from 57.9
percent in Mississippi to 100 percent in Wyoming. Figure 6.2b shows that when
states are placed in rank order, states that accept the highest percentage of
admission applications online are Wyoming, Maine, West Virginia, Pennsylvania
and Virginia. States with the lowest percentage of admission applications
accepted online are Mississippi, California, Montana, District of Columbia
and Arizona.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? As was


the case with the previous indicator, the Annual Survey of Colleges is based
on self-reported information from the institution, and colleges do not necessarily
respond to all questions on the survey. This indicator is calculated solely from
affirmative responses (i.e., those institutions explicitly indicating that the
application can be submitted online) and may underestimate the proportion
of colleges for which the technology is in place.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 96

6.2b Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Accept Admission


Applications Online by State Rank, 2008
Source: College Board Annual Survey of Colleges, NCES/IPEDS, 2010
8.2c Note: Analysis limited to four-year, degree-granting, not-for-profit, TitleIV-participating institutions located
in the 50 states and District of Columbia.

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Wyoming 100.0%
Maine 90.0%
West Virginia 90.0%
Pennsylvania 89.7%
Virginia 88.9%
Idaho 87.5%
Colorado 86.4%
Hawaii 85.7%
Vermont 84.2%
Wisconsin 84.2%
Iowa 83.3%
Nebraska 83.3%
New Mexico 83.3%
Massachusetts 82.5%
Rhode Island 81.8%
North Carolina 81.7%
New Hampshire 81.3%
Kentucky 80.6%
Minnesota 80.0%
Indiana 78.4%
Ohio 78.0%
Connecticut 76.0%
Alaska 75.0%
Nevada 75.0%
Georgia 74.1%
UNITED STATES 73.4%
Michigan 73.3%
Alabama 72.7% 25
States
Kansas 72.4%
Texas 72.2% U.S. Average

Tennessee 70.8% 26
Maryland 70.6% States

Illinois 70.3%
New Jersey 70.3%
Utah 70.0%
Washington 70.0%
Arkansas 69.6%
North Dakota 69.2%
South Dakota 69.2%
Oregon 67.7%
Missouri 67.3%
Delaware 66.7%
New York 62.6%
Oklahoma 62.1%
Florida 62.0%
South Carolina 61.8%
Louisiana 61.5%
Arizona 60.0%
District of Columbia 60.0%
Montana 60.0% AVG
California
Mississippi
58.6%
57.9%
73.4
%
97 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

20.4 % Percentage of Four-Year


Colleges that Participate in
As of the 2008–2009 National Application Systems
admission year,
20.4 percent of four-
6.3a
year institutions
National Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Use the Common
participated in Application, Universal College Application, SuperAPP or the
national application Common Black College Application, 2000–2008
systems that aim 8.4a Source: Common Application, Universal College Application, SuperAPP, Common Black College Application,
to streamline the NCES/IPEDS, 2009

admission process. 100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20 17.9% 20.4%
13.2% 14.2% 15.5%
10.8% 11.7% 11.9% 12.4%
10

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This metric
represents the proportion of four-year colleges that participate in application
systems that specifically aim to simplify the admission process. The application
systems address the overlap in applications and provide a platform for students
to enter information once and then send the application to multiple colleges.

Over the past two decades, the options themselves, as well as the number
of participating institutions, expanded greatly. The Common Application
(CA), which had existed in paper form since 1975, was introduced online in
1998, and by 2006, all members accepted the application online. Since then,
CA launched its online school form system and partnered with Naviance to
provide school officials the option of submitting transcripts, school forms and
recommendations electronically. Though it is difficult to estimate the number
of paper common applications submitted, nearly 1.4 million online CAs were
submitted in the 2008–2009 admission season.43

43. Common Application (2010) History and Common Questions for Applicants. Retrieved from
https://www.commonapp.org/
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 98

The Universal College Application (UCA), introduced in 2007, expanded the


opportunity for a centralized electronic application to colleges that do not
necessarily use “holistic” review processes. While CA membership is limited
to those requiring components such as teacher recommendations and an essay,
UCA does not have this stipulation. This potentially opens the door to a wider
range of higher education institutions, particularly in the public sector.

The Common Black College Application (CBCA), founded roughly 10 years


ago, originally collaborated with five historically black colleges and universities
with the goal of increasing the presence of these colleges in new markets and
increasing educational options for students. CBCA participates in a range of
outreach activities in schools and communities. Students are now able to apply
simultaneously to 35 HBCUs (there are 103 HBCUs nationally) with the CBCA.
The process is simplified further in that students pay a single application fee.
CBCA has served over 70,000 students since its inception.

It remains to be seen how the addition of SuperAPP in the 2009–2010


admission cycle will alter the admission landscape. Several major urban
districts (including Baltimore Public Schools and the Cleveland Metropolitan
School District) and a rapidly growing number of colleges have partnered with
SuperAPP in order to streamline the process for students and schools alike.
The platform allows schools to send complete applications (including the
student and school requirements) electronically to the college. SuperAPP
is designed to support various application formats, including CA and UCA,
in addition to the unique applications of 1,400 colleges.

Where are we now? Only 20.4 percent of four-year institutions in the


United States currently participate in national application systems that aim to
streamline the admission process. Figure 6.3a shows that this number rose
steadily from 10.8 percent in 2000 to 20.4 percent in 2008.

When the data are disaggregated by state, the percentages range from 0.0
percent in Alaska, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming
to 55.0 percent in Maine and Rhode Island. Figure 6.3b shows that when
states are placed in rank order, states with the highest percentage of usage of
national applications are Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
and Vermont.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Perhaps the
greatest issue is that of access to information and resources — knowing
that the above options exist, having the ability to pay application fees or
the knowledge to seek fee waivers, and subsequently having access to the
technology with which to complete one of the above options. Institutions
should examine payment and fee-waiver policies in order to ensure that all
students have the ability to participate equally in the above application systems.
Institutions that are not current members of a centralized application system
should examine the costs and benefits of participation. The K–12 and higher
education communities should strive to improve outreach to low-income and
first-generation students about the benefits of these application systems.
99 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

6.3b Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Use the Common Application,


Universal College Application, SuperAPP or the Common Black
College Application by State Rank, 2008
8.4c Source: Common Application®, Universal College Application®, SuperAPP®, Common Black College Application®,
NCES/IPEDS, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Maine 55.0%
Rhode Island 54.5%
Massachusetts 43.8%
New Hampshire 43.8%
Vermont 42.1%
Delaware 33.3%
Connecticut 32.0%
New York 31.9%
Pennsylvania 31.0%
District of Columbia 30.0%
Montana 30.0%
New Jersey 29.7%
South Carolina 29.4%
Virginia 28.9%
Maryland 26.5%
Colorado 22.7%
Oregon 22.6%
Georgia 20.4%
UNITED STATES 20.4%
Ohio 18.7%
Wisconsin 18.4% 18
States
North Carolina 18.3%
California 18.0% U.S. Average

Minnesota 17.5% 33
Florida 16.9% States

Washington 16.7%
Mississippi 15.8%
Indiana 15.7%
Louisiana 15.4%
Hawaii 14.3%
Missouri 12.7%
Idaho 12.5%
Tennessee 12.5%
Illinois 12.2%
Iowa 11.1%
Arizona 10.0%
Texas 10.0%
Utah 10.0%
Kentucky 9.7%
Alabama 9.1%
Arkansas 8.7%
New Mexico 8.3%
South Dakota 7.7%
Michigan 6.7%
Nebraska 4.2%
Oklahoma 3.4%
Alaska 0.0%
Kansas 0.0%
Nevada 0.0%
North Dakota 0.0% AVG
West Virginia
Wyoming
0.0%
0.0%
20.4
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 100

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? There are
other examples of applications that students can use to apply to more than
one institution. For example, many state or city higher education systems have
centralized application systems. As our interest was in describing application
systems that connect students to a broader array of colleges, we have excluded
numerous four-year institutions that do, in fact, participate in “common”
application systems. Other programs have simplified the process for school
officials, which can have an indirect effect on the process for students. For
example, schools that use Naviance’s “College Planner” are able to send
materials electronically to over 1,100 colleges. In nearly 4,000 K–12 schools,
Naviance sent 2.4 million “edocs” midway through the 2009–2010 admission
season.44

There are additional examples of “common” application models that have come
and gone over the past decade. It is difficult to project which of these will shape
the admission landscape in the coming years, perhaps with the exception of
the CA, which has been the industry standard for a few decades. Ultimately,
the survival of each application system will be determined by the open market,
but it should be kept in mind that the use of more of these systems does not
necessarily mean a better experience for students. However, it can be argued
that having more colleges participate in the existing systems could create a
better experience for students, in that they could use a single application for all
or most of the institutions on the final college list.

In addition, while the above systems indicate increased numbers of applicants


and applications over time, we are currently unable to estimate the proportion
of students who take advantage of such options.

44. Naviance (Feb. 12, 2010). Naviance delivers more than 2.4M times and counting! Retrieved from
http://www.naviance.com/news/2010/naviance-delivers-more-than-24m-times-and-counting.html
101 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Immediate Enrollment Rate


67.2 % of High School Graduates
As of 2007,
67.2 percent of high 6.4a
school graduates National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled in Two- or
enrolled in a two- 8.5a Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following Graduation, 1997–2007
or four-year college Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009
immediately after
100
completing high
90
school.
80

70 67.0% 65.6% 65.2% 63.9% 66.7%


68.6%
66.0% 67.2%
62.9% 63.3% 61.7%

55.6 %
60

50

40

30
As of 2007, 20
55.6 percent of African 10
American high school 0
graduates enrolled 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
in a two- or four-year
college immediately
6.4b
after completing high
school. National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled in Two- or
Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following Graduation by Race/
8.5b Ethnicity, 2007 8.5c

60.9
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009

% Note: Data not Available for Asian American/ Pacific Islander and American Indian

100 100

90 90

80 80
As of 2007,
70 69.5% AVG AVG 70
60.9 percent of 67.2 67.2 66.1%
60 60.9% 60
Hispanic high school 55.6% % %
50 50
graduates enrolled
40 40
in a two- or four-year
30 30
college immediately
20 20
after completing high
10 10
school. 0
0

African Hispanic White Male


American
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 102

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? One way to
assess whether efforts to streamline, simplify, and demystify the admission
process are effective is to examine the proportion of students applying to
college. This hinges upon an assumption that if the process is perceived as less
intimidating, then more students will ultimately apply to college. However, there
does not appear to be a comprehensive source for this information. The issue
can be explored indirectly through the immediate enrollment rate of students
who have just completed high school. It stands to reason that if a greater
proportion of students enroll, then a greater proportion of them must have
applied to college in the first place. However, the method of application remains
unknown. Also, the availability of online applications did not appear to influence
enrollment (See Figure 6.4a).

This measure is fundamental to the overall goal of the commission. While in this
case it is being used as an indirect indicator of application behavior, it reflects
an important piece of the admission pipeline, in which students must apply,
enroll, return for sophomore year, and ultimately complete their degree (see
Recommendation Nine for more details on retention and completion).

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? From the
data presented in this section, enrollment rates can be seen to differ based
on family income, parental education, race/ethnicity, and gender. Policies
geared toward improving application and enrollment rates for low-income and
underrepresented minority students in particular will contribute greatly to the
commission’s goal.

Where are we now? In 2007, 67.2 percent of U.S. high school graduates
enrolled in a two- or four-year college immediately after completing high school.
Figure 6.4a shows that the national percentage of high school graduates
enrolled in two- or four-year colleges immediately following graduation
remained relatively stable between 1997 and 2007. Figure 6.4b shows that
the immediate enrollment rate in 2007 for African American (55.6 percent) and
Hispanic (60.9 percent) students trails that of white (69.5 percent) students in
the United States.

Figure 6.4c shows that the immediate enrollment rate for males (66.1 percent)
is only slightly behind the rate for females (68.3 percent). Figure 6.4d shows
that the immediate enrollment rate of high school graduates increases as
income improves. While 55.0 percent of low-income students enroll in two- or
four-year colleges immediately after graduating from high school, middle-
and high-income students enroll at rates of 63.3 percent and 78.2 percent,
respectively. Figure 6.4e shows that the immediate enrollment rate increases
as parental educational attainment increases. Although 50.9 percent of students
whose parents have high school diplomas or less enroll immediately in school,
the number improves to 65.2 percent for students whose parents have some
college and 85.8 percent for students whose parents have a bachelor’s degree
or higher.
103 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When the data are disaggregated by high school graduates enrolled in two-
or four-year colleges immediately following graduation, the percentages range
from 45.0 percent in Arizona to 75.4 percent in Mississippi. Figure 6.4f shows
that when states are placed in rank order, states with the highest percentage
of high school graduates to immediately enroll in college are Mississippi, New
York, Massachusetts, South Dakota and North Dakota. States with the lowest
percentage of high school graduates to immediately enroll in college are
Arizona, Idaho, Alaska, Utah and Oregon.

When the data are disaggregated by high school graduates enrolled in two-
or four-year colleges in their home state immediately following graduation, the
percentages range from 14.6 percent in the District of Columbia to 69.3 percent
in Mississippi. Figure 6.4g shows that when states are placed in rank order,
states with the highest percentage of high school graduates to immediately
enroll in college in their home state are Mississippi, South Carolina, New York,
North Carolina and Michigan. States with the lowest percentage of high school
graduates to immediately enroll in college in their home state, along with the
District of Columbia, are Vermont, Alaska, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? A student


may complete the admission process only to find that certain factors, such as
family finances, prevent him or her from enrolling. Therefore, this measure likely
underestimates the actual proportion of recent high school completers who
applied to college.

6.4c National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled


in Two- or Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following Graduation
by Gender, 2007
8.5c 8.5d
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics,
The Condition of Education, 2009

100 100

90 90

80 80

69.5% AVG AVG 70 68.3% AVG 70


66.1% 63.3%
9% 67.2 67.2 60 67.2 60
% % % 55.0%
50 50
40 40

30 30
20 20

10 10

0 0

anic White Male Female Low Middle


Income Incom
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 104

6.4d National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled in


Two- or Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following Graduation
8.5d by Family Income, 2007 8.5e
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009

100 100
90 90
85.8%
80 78.2% 80
AVG 70 AVG 70
63.3% 65.2%
67.2 60 67.2 60
% 55.0% %
50 50 50.9%
40 40
30 30
20 20
10 10
0 0

Low Middle High High School Some Bachelor’s


Income Income Income or Less College Degree
or Higher

6.4e National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled in Two- or Four-Year


Colleges Immediately Following Graduation by Parental Education, 2007
8.5e 8.5g
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, 2009

100 0 10 20 30
90 Mississippi 75.4%
85.8%
New York 75.0%
80
Massachusetts 72.6%
AVG 70 South Dakota 72.1%
65.2%
67.2 60
North Dakota 71.9%
% New Mexico 71.1%
50 50.9% New Jersey 70.2%
South Carolina 69.5%
40 Georgia 68.6%
Virginia 68.3%
30
Minnesota 67.8%
20 Delaware 66.3%
Maryland 66.3%
10 North Carolina 65.7%
0 Kansas 65.6%
New Hampshire 64.6%
High School Some Bachelor’s Michigan 64.5%
or Less College Degree Nebraska 64.3%
or Higher Tennessee 64.2%
Indiana 63.9%
Louisiana 63.9%
Colorado 63.6%
Connecticut 62.9%
UNITED STATES 62.0%
Pennsylvania 61.6%
105 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

6.4f 8.5g
Estimated Rate of High School Graduates Going to College by State Rank, 2006
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), 2008

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Mississippi 75.4%
New York 75.0%
Massachusetts 72.6%
South Dakota 72.1%
North Dakota 71.9%
New Mexico 71.1%
New Jersey 70.2%
South Carolina 69.5%
Georgia 68.6%
Virginia 68.3%
Minnesota 67.8%
Delaware 66.3%
Maryland 66.3%
North Carolina 65.7%
Kansas 65.6%
New Hampshire 64.6%
Michigan 64.5%
Nebraska 64.3%
Tennessee 64.2%
Indiana 63.9%
Louisiana 63.9%
Colorado 63.6%
Connecticut 62.9%
UNITED STATES 62.0%
Pennsylvania 61.6%
Alabama 61.5% 23
States
Kentucky 61.5%
U.S. Average
Maine 61.1%
Wisconsin 61.0% 28
States
Iowa 60.9%
Illinois 60.4%
Florida 60.2%
Oklahoma 59.6%
Ohio 59.5%
Wyoming 58.0%
West Virginia 57.9%
Missouri 57.7%
Arkansas 56.7%
Montana 56.4%
District of Columbia 56.3%
California 56.1%
Texas 55.4%
Hawaii 55.1%
Rhode Island 54.7%
Vermont 54.5%
Nevada 52.2%
Washington 48.7%
Oregon 47.7%
Utah 46.3%
Alaska 45.8% AVG
Idaho
Arizona
45.8%
45.0%
62.0
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Six 106

6.4g 8.5i
Estimated Rate of High School Graduates Going to College in Home State
by State Rank, 2006
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), 2008

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Mississippi 69.3%
South Carolina 62.3%
New York 60.0%
North Carolina 59.5%
Michigan 57.9%
Louisiana 56.9%
Georgia 56.6%
New Mexico 55.9%
Kansas 55.8%
Indiana 55.5%
Alabama 55.4%
South Dakota 55.4%
Virginia 54.8%
Kentucky 54.7%
Tennessee 54.6%
Florida 53.3%
Oklahoma 53.1%
North Dakota 52.5%
Nebraska 52.4%
Iowa 52.3%
Pennsylvania 50.7%
California 50.7%
West Virginia 50.5%
Arkansas 50.2%
UNITED STATES 50.1%
Minnesota 50.1%
Ohio 49.7% 24
States
Wisconsin 49.3%
U.S. Average
Colorado 49.2%
Texas 48.9% 27
States
Massachusetts 48.3%
Missouri 47.9%
Illinois 44.7%
Delaware 43.5%
Wyoming 42.5%
Utah 42.2%
Maryland 42.1%
Montana 42.1%
Nevada 39.9%
New Jersey 39.6%
Maine 39.5%
Arizona 39.1%
Washington 37.5%
Oregon 36.3%
Hawaii 34.9%
New Hampshire 33.7%
Idaho 33.4%
Connecticut 33.2%
Rhode Island 32.5%
Alaska 25.7% AVG
Vermont
District of Columbia
23.6%
14.6%
50.1
%
Seven
Provide more
need-based grant
aid while simplifying
the financial aid
system and making
it more transparent
WE RECOMMEND that federal and state officials encourage
increased access by providing more need-based grant aid,
making the process of applying for financial assistance more
transparent and predictable, and finding ways to inform
families, as early as the middle school years, of aid amounts
likely to be available to individual students.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Seven 108

It is important that sufficient need-based aid be available to allow low- and


moderate-income students to enroll and succeed in college. First-generation
students and underrepresented minorities are particularly vulnerable when
our financial aid system is inadequate.

In Coming to Our Senses, the commission called for an increase in need-


based grant aid, for avoidance of excessive reliance on student debt, and for
simplifying financial aid processes and making them more transparent. The
commission also recommended providing institutions with incentives to enroll
and graduate more low-income and first-generation students.

Better information for students is vital as many students, particularly those


whose parents did not go to college, are unaware of the available financial aid
and do not know how to access it. The nation must do more to simplify the
financial aid process for all students and to make the process transparent for
all families. In many cases, access to social capital is directly tied to the ability
of students and families to gain access to higher education. Simplifying the
financial aid system and providing early information can improve access to
higher education for low-income and first-generation students.

Indicators of progress on this recommendation include:

• Grant aid for students from low- and moderate-income families;


• Student debt levels;
• Changes in the federal student aid application process and financial aid
programs; and
• Implementation of policies designed to provide incentives for institutions
to promote enrollment and success of low-income and first-generation
students.
109 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• Between 2003–2004 and 2007–2008, at public two-year colleges, average
grant aid increased by 1.8 percent or $53 per year (after adjusting for
inflation) for low-income dependent students.
• Between 2003–2004 and 2007–2008, at public four-year colleges, average
grant aid increased by 4.4 percent or $283 per year (after adjusting for
inflation), for low-income students.
• Between 2003–2004 and 2007–2008, at private four-year colleges, average
grant aid increased by 5.8 percent or $686 per year (after adjusting for
inflation) for low-income dependent students.
• The median total debt for those who borrowed increased by 1.3 percent
per year beyond inflation.
• As of January 2010, some applicants can populate the Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with data supplied directly from the tax forms
they have filed with the IRS.
• The online FAFSA was modified to incorporate increased use of “skip
logic,” reducing the number of questions many applicants must answer.
• Applicants who complete the FAFSA are immediately provided with
information about the types and amounts of aid they are likely to receive,
as well as information about the colleges to which they are applying,
including tuition and graduation rates.
• Our understanding of the best ways to promote student success is limited.
Any programs designed to further this goal should involve sound evaluation
plans to assure that the funds are as productive as possible.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Seven 110

1.8 % Grant Aid for Students from


Low-Income Families
Between fiscal year
2004 and fiscal year 7.1a
2008, the trend at Average Total Grant Aid Per Low-Income Private 4-year
(Not for profit)
Dependent Student, 1993–2008 (In Constant
public two-year 2007 Dollars)
Public 4-year
Public 2-year
colleges, average 9.1a Source: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, National Center for Education
grant aid increases Statistics, calculations by the College Board
Note: Constant dollars based on CPI-U as of September beginning academic year.
at a rate of 1.8
percent or $53 per 16
Pr
year (after adjusting 14 $13,689 Pu
Pu
for inflation) for low- 12
income dependent $10,943
$10,281
10
students.
In Thousands

$8,866
$8,138
8
$7,092
6 $5,961
$4,618
$3,984

4.4
4 $3,490 $3,132

%
$2,922
$2,508
2 $1,776

0 $1,836

1993 1996 2000 2004 2008


Between fiscal year
2004 and fiscal year
2008, the trend at 7.1b
public four-year National Average Percentage Increase in Total Low-Income
Grant Aid Per Dependent Student by Income, Mid-Low Income
colleges, average Mid-High Income
2004–2008 (Based on Constant 2007 Dollars)
grant aid increases 9.1b High Income
Source: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, National Center for Education
at a rate of 4.4 Statistics, calculations by the College Board

percent or $283 per 20


yearPrivate,
(after4-Year
Public, 4-Year
adjusting 15
,689
for inflation)
Public, 2-Year for low-
10 8.8%
income students. 5.5% 6.3% 5.8% 5.2%
5 4.4% 4.2% 3.2%
1.8%
0 0.0%
092 -5

-10 -5.3%-4.4%

132 -15

-20
Public Public Private
2-Year 4-Year 4-Year
008
111 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

5.8%
What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the amount of grant aid available to students by income level. This
measure is important because students from low- and moderate-income
families can enroll and succeed in college only if they have access to adequate
Between fiscal year financial resources. The educational attainment of higher-income students is not
significantly affected by increases in aid, but lower-income students are much
2004 and fiscal year
more price sensitive.45
2008, the trend at
private four-year What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The federal
colleges, average government provides the foundation of need-based aid through Pell Grants to
grant aid increases low- and moderate-income students. Funding for Pell Grants is subject to
annual appropriations. State governments also provide important grant aid
at a rate of 5.8
to students. Some of this aid is need-based, but other funds are distributed on
percent or $686 per the basis of academic qualifications, and many of these dollars go to students
year (after adjusting who could enroll without them. Colleges and universities also distribute
for inflation) for low- considerable amounts of grant aid. As with state grants, the majority of these
income dependent dollars are awarded to meet financial need, but many funds also go to students
who can afford college without this assistance.
students.
Where are we now? Total grant aid for low-income dependent students in the
United States has risen steadily from 1993 to 2008. Figure 7.1a shows that
average total grant aid for full-time students from low-income families attending
public two-year institutions increased from $1,836 in 1993 to $3,312 in 2008.
Average total grant aid for full-time, low-income students attending public four-
year institutions rose from $3,490 in 1993 to $7,092 in 2008 and from $8,138 in
1993 to $13,689 in 2008 for those attending private four-year institutions.

Figure 7.1b shows that the percentage increase in average total grant aid to
low-income dependent students from 2004 to 2008 was 1.8 percent at public
two-year institutions, 4.4 percent at public four-year institutions and 5.8 percent
at private four-year institutions. Figure 7.1c shows the annual dollar increase
in total grant aid to low-income dependent students from 2004 to 2008 was $53
at public two-year institutions, $283 at public four-year institutions and $686
at private four-year institutions.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? There are
multiple definitions of “need-based” aid. Sometimes, only aid that is awarded
explicitly on the basis of financial need is considered need based. But the critical
issue is that sufficient dollars go to students who need them, regardless of how
these dollars are labeled. Accordingly, monitoring the amount of grant aid low-
and moderate-income students receive is the most meaningful way to examine
the assistance these students are receiving to enable them to participate in
postsecondary education.

45. The College Board. (2009). Trends in college pricing. Retrieved June 17, 2010 from
http://www.trends-collegeboard.com/college_pricing/pdf/2009_Trends_College_Pricing.pdf
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Seven 112

7.1c National Average Dollar Increase in Total Low-Income


Grant Aid Per Dependent Student by Income, Mid-Low Income
Mid-High Income
2004–2008 High Income
Source: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, National Center for
9.1c
Education Statistics, calculations by the College Board
Note: Constant dollars based on 2008 academic year

700 $686
600 $564
500

400 $401
$311
300 $283
200 $207

100
$108 $99
$53
0 $0

-100 -$31 -$17


Public Public Private
2-Year 4-Year 4-Year

Students at public two-year colleges rely almost entirely on federal and state
grants, but public four-year colleges provide considerable institutional grant aid.
At private not-for-profit colleges, institutional grant aid provides more subsidies
than do federal and state governments. (Note: available data highlighting for-
profit institutions are not adequate for reporting.) The effectiveness of increases
in grant aid depends on how much tuition increases.
113 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

2.6 % Student Debt Levels


7.2a Median Loan
Debt 2008
The median total debt National Median Loan Debt, 2004 and 2008 Median Loan
Debt 2004
for graduates who (In Current Dollars)
borrow increases by Source: NPSAS 2003–2004, NPSAS 2007–2008; Patricia Steele and Sandy Baum,
“How Much Are College Students Borrowing?” The College Board, 2009
2.6 percent per year9.2a Note: Includes U.S. citizens and residents. PLUS loans, loans from friends and
beyond inflation. family, and credit card debt are not included.

20 $19,999
$18,973 M
M
16
$15,123
$13,663
12
In Thousands

$10,000
$9,000
8
$8,493
$7,503

All Students Bachelor’s Degree Associate Degree Certificate

7.2b
National Average Annual Percentage Increase in Median Debt
Level, 2004–2008 (In Current Dollars)
Source: NPSAS 2003–2004, NPSAS 2007–2008; Patricia Steele and Sandy Baum, “How Much Are College
Students Borrowing?” The College Board, 2009
9.2b Note: Includes U.S. citizens and residents. PLUS loans, loans from friends and family, and credit card debt are
not included.

100
edian Loan Debt 2008 90
edian Loan Debt 2004
80
70
60
50
40

30
20
10
2.6% 1.3% 4.2% 4.7%
0
All Bachelor’s Associate Certificate
Students Degree Degree
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Seven 114

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the median debt accumulated by students by degree and institution
type. Postsecondary education is an investment with a high rate of return for
most students. However, some students do not complete the programs they
begin, and for others, the payoff in the labor market is less than they might
have anticipated. While typical students can pay off their education debts
without undue difficulty, for a growing minority of students, debt burdens are
unmanageable. The need to borrow at high levels discourages some students
from enrolling or persisting in college, and for others, it creates very difficult
circumstances during the repayment period after college.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Many factors,
including changing incomes and income inequality, rising college prices, and
lifestyle choices, contribute to the amounts students borrow. However, more
generous need-based federal, state and institutional grant programs can
mitigate the need for students to rely on borrowed funds.

Where are we now? Student debt levels in the United States continue to rise
each year for students who persist to degree completion. Figure 7.2a shows
that debt levels for all graduates increased from $13,663 in 2004 to $15,123
in 2008. The debt levels for associate degree graduates are significantly lower
than those for bachelor’s degree attainees. Figure 7.2b shows that the average
annual percentage increase in the median debt level from 2004 to 2008 was
2.6 percent for all graduates, 1.3 percent for bachelor’s degree attainees,
4.2 percent for associate degree graduates, and 4.7 percent for certificate
awardees.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? Median debt
levels conceal the range of borrowing levels. About a third of bachelor’s degree
recipients graduate with no education debt. In any given academic year, only
about half of all full-time students take education loans. However, increases
in median debt levels for those who do borrow, combined with information on
the proportion of students with debt, provide an important indicator of reliance
on debt.

The proportion of bachelor’s degree recipients graduating with debt was about
two-thirds in both 2003–2004 and 2007–2008. Median debt levels increased by
1.3 percent per year beyond inflation.

The proportion of for-profit bachelor’s degree recipients graduating with debt


and the proportion of associate degree and certificate recipients who borrowed
to finance their education increased measurably over this four-year period. In
addition, median debt levels for these groups increased much more rapidly than
for other groups.
115 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Simplifying the Federal


Student Aid System and the
Application Process
What is this measure, and why is this measure important? Even when
sufficient financial aid funds are available, students frequently have difficulty
accessing those funds. A simpler application process and programs that are
more predictable and transparent have the potential to increase educational
opportunities.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The Department
of Education has the authority to modify the student aid application process
in significant ways. Other measures, including removing questions from
the application, modifying the formula used to calculate aid eligibility and
consolidating programs, require congressional action.

Where are we now? Many students who would be eligible for federal aid do
not complete the FAFSA. Some of these students would likely apply if the
application were simpler or if students were less intimidated by the application.
Others might apply if they had better information about the aid for which they
could qualify.

During 2009, the Department of Education made considerable strides toward


improving the application process.

• As of January 2010, some applicants can populate the FAFSA with data
supplied directly from the tax forms they have filed with the IRS.
• The online FAFSA has been modified to incorporate increased use of “skip
logic,” reducing the number of questions many applicants must answer.
• Applicants who complete the FAFSA immediately receive information
about the types and amounts of aid they are likely to receive, as well as
information about the colleges to which they are applying, including tuition
and graduation rates.

In 2009, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would have


eliminated from the FAFSA all financial questions that cannot be answered with
IRS data. This change would have simplified the eligibility formula, making it
possible for students to predict in advance the Pell Grants for which they would
be eligible and for all financial data to come directly from the IRS. However,
when student aid revisions were incorporated into the Health Care and
Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, these changes were not enacted.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Seven 116

Implementation of Policies
Designed to Provide Incentives
for Institutions to Promote
Enrollment and Success
of Low-Income and First-
Generation Students
What is this measure, and why is this measure important? Existing student
aid programs were designed primarily to promote access to postsecondary
education. The nation has done a much better job of increasing enrollment
rates than of promoting college success and completion. Too many students
— particularly low-income and first-generation students — are beginning
postsecondary education but never earning a credential.46

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The federal
government provides funds directly to students and provides some student aid
funds to campuses to distribute to their students in the form of grants, loans
and work study. The allocation of these funds is almost entirely unrelated to
institutional success rates.

Where are we now? Our understanding of the best ways to use financial
incentives to promote student success is limited. Any program designed to
further this goal should involve sound evaluation plans to assure the use of
funds is as productive as possible.

The Health Care Reconciliation Act of 2010 passed by Congress in March


includes the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that includes College
Access and Completion funds.47 These funds will spend $2.5 billion, over the
course of five years, on supporting state efforts to boost the college completion
rates of low-income students. An evaluative component will be created to
assess these many efforts in order to pinpoint the most successful ones. This
step that Congress has taken will allow valuable data to be created that will
inform states about effective promotion of success for low-income students.

46. Choy, Susan P. 2001. Students Whose Parents Did Not Go To College: Postsecondary Access, Persistence, and
Attainment (NCES 2001-126). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education
Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2001/2001126.pdf
47. Health Care Reconcilliation Act, 2010.
Eight
Keep college
affordable
WE RECOMMEND restraining growth in college costs and
prices, using available aid and resources wisely, and insisting
that state governments meet their obligations for funding
higher education.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 118

In Coming to Our Senses, the commission called for assuring college affordability
by restraining increases in college prices. In order to make this a reality, state
governments must meet their obligations for funding higher education.

State appropriations are not keeping pace with the increasing enrollments at
colleges and universities, contributing to rapid increases in tuition and fees.48
The lag in appropriations by states is leaving families and students with the
burden of financing an increasing portion of the cost of higher education.
However, state appropriations and tuition prices cannot be viewed in a vacuum.
While state appropriations and tuition are indeed important, ensuring college
affordability also depends on other factors, such as living expenses, family
ability to pay, and the availability of financial aid. Each of these factors affects
the affordability of attending a college or university. All of these areas are
reflected in the measures that have been chosen for this recommendation.

Indicators of progress on this recommendation include:

• State appropriations to fund public higher education;


• Tuition, fees and other costs of attendance at colleges and universities;
• Net price students pay for college;
• Change in family income levels; and
• Earnings of college graduates.

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• State support for public higher education declined by 1.0 percent between
fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2010.
• Average tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities
continued to increase in the United States in 2009–2010.
• Students paid average net tuition and fees of $1,620 at public four-year
colleges in 2009–2010, after subtracting grants and federal tax benefits.
• Average income for families in the lowest 20 percent of the population
declined 3.7 percent from 1998 to 2008, after adjusting for inflation.
• Average earnings for full-time workers ages 25 to 29 from 2007 to 2008
declined by 10.7 percent for those workers with an associate degree, yet
increased by 0.6 percent for workers with some college, 0.2 percent for
those with bachelor’s degrees, and 0.4 percent for those workers with
a bachelor’s degree or higher.

48. The College Board. (2009). Trends in college pricing. Retrieved June 17, 2010 from
http://www.trends-collegeboard.com/college_pricing/pdf/2009_Trends_College_Pricing.pdf
119 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

-1.0 % State Appropriations to Fund


Higher Education
Between fiscal year
2009 and fiscal year 8.1a Local Tax Support
Total State Support
2010, the change State Fiscal Support for Higher Education, Federal Stimulus
in total public FY 2005 to FY 2010, (in Millions of Constant Monies
Total Public Support
support for public 10.1a 2009 Dollars)
Source: Illinois State University Study for the Center of Education Policy,
higher education Grapevine Data, 2010
is a decline of 1.0
100
percent. $88,387 $88,800 $87,951
90 $85,753
$82,080
80
$78,861

70 $80,458 $80,274
$78,206 $79,509
$74,680
60 $71,556
In Thousands

50

40

30

20

10 $7,305 $7,400 $7,547 $7,929 $8,526 $8,442

0 $2,366 $4,249

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

-2.1% 10.1b
8.1b
Change in State Fiscal Support for Higher Education,
Between fiscal year FY 2009 to FY 2010
2009 and fiscal year Source: Illinois State University Study for the Center of Education Policy, Grapevine Data, 2010

2010, the change


ocal Tax Support
50

in state support for


otal State Support 40
ederal Stimulus Monies
higher education
otal Public Support
30

is a decline of 2.1 20

percent. 10

-10 -3.4% -2.1% -1.0% -1.0%


-20

-30

-40

-50

State Total State Local Tax Total Public


Monies Support Support Support
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 120

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the state appropriation dollars used to support higher education in
the United States. Revenues for public colleges and universities, where about
80 percent of students are enrolled, come primarily from a combination of state
appropriations and the tuition and fees students pay. This measure is important
because the failure of state appropriations to keep up with enrollment growth
has been a primary driver of rising tuition levels.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? State funding
levels depend on the interaction of state priorities and philosophies of
educational funding with fiscal constraints. With pressures on state budgets
from declining revenues and increasingly costly competing demands, only a
strong commitment to affordable, high quality public higher education on the
part of state legislatures can assure the funding levels required to restrain
tuition increases and provide adequate need-based aid.

Where are we now? In the United States, state fiscal support for education
has declined because of the recession that has crippled state funding. Figure
8.1a shows there has been a decrease in total public support since 2009. Figure
8.1b shows total public support for education has declined by 1.0 percent from
the 2009 to 2010 fiscal years. There were declines in state money, total state
support and local tax support for education. Though the states received stimulus
dollars, this was not enough to offset the declining education dollars
in many states.

When the data are disaggregated by state, the percentages range from
-11.2 percent in Arizona to 23.3 percent in Missouri. Figure 8.1c shows that
when states are placed in rank order, states with the highest percentage
increase fiscal support for education are Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee,
Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The states with the greatest decline in fiscal
support for education are Arizona, Vermont, New Jersey, Indiana and Virginia.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


State appropriation levels and patterns differ considerably across states. Both
enrollment levels and economic circumstances must be understood to put
appropriations into context. However, changes in national appropriations do
provide an important snapshot. Total public appropriations for higher education
increased rapidly from 2004–2005 through 2007–2008, but declined in 2008–
2009 and again in 2009–2010.
121 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

8.1c Change in State Fiscal Support for Higher Education by State Rank,
10.1d FY 2009 to FY 2010
Source: Illinois State University Study for the Center of Education Policy, Grapevine Data, 2010

-50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50

Missouri 23.3%
North Carolina 18.5%
Tennessee 12.5%
Pennsylvania 8.3%
Rhode Island 7.9%
Mississippi 6.1%
New York 5.3%
New Hampshire 5.0%
Idaho 4.6%
Utah 4.6%
Alaska 3.9%
Arkansas 3.6%
New Mexico 3.4%
Minnesota 2.8%
Nevada 2.4%
Maine 1.3%
Illinois 1.2%
Maryland 1.1%
Ohio 0.8%
Connecticut 0.6%
South Carolina 0.4%
Kansas 0.3%
South Dakota -0.2%
Colorado -0.3%
Delaware -0.5%
Louisiana -0.5%
Michigan -0.5%
Washington -0.5%
Alabama -0.9%
Wyoming -1.0%
Texas -1.5%
UNITED STATES -2.1%
Hawaii -2.3%
Florida -2.5% 31
States
Iowa -2.7%
U.S. Average
District of Columbia -3.6%
Oklahoma -3.6% 20
Oregon -3.8% States

Wisconsin -4.3%
Montana -4.4%
Nebraska -4.8%
Kentucky -6.2%
West Virginia -6.7%
California -6.8%
Massachusetts -7.1%
Georgia -7.4%
North Dakota -7.9%
Virginia -8.4%
Indiana -9.5%
New Jersey -10.2%
Vermont -10.4%
Arizona -11.2%

AVG

-2.1
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 122

8.1d Per Capita Change in State Fiscal Support for Higher Education
10.1f by State Rank, FY 2009 to FY 2010
Source: Illinois State University Study for the Center of Education Policy, Grapevine Data, 2010

-50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50


Missouri 22.4%
North Carolina 17.5%
Tennessee 10.4%
Pennsylvania 8.3%
Rhode Island 6.5%
Mississippi 5.6%
Utah 4.5%
New Hampshire 4.4%
Idaho 4.0%
New York 3.8%
New Mexico 3.0%
Arkansas 2.8%
Alaska 2.4%
Minnesota 2.4%
Nevada 2.2%
Illinois 0.7%
Maine 0.6%
Maryland 0.3%
Connecticut 0.1%
Kansas -0.4%
Louisiana -0.4%
Ohio -0.4%
South Carolina -0.5%
Washington -0.8%
Michigan -1.1%
South Dakota -1.1%
Alabama -1.5%
Delaware -1.5%
Wyoming -1.8%
Colorado -2.1%
UNITED STATES -2.8%
Iowa -3.4%
30
States
Hawaii -3.5% U.S. Average
Texas -3.6%
Florida -3.8% 21
States
Oregon -4.1%
District of Columbia -4.2%
Oklahoma -4.7%
Montana -5.2%
Nebraska -5.8%
Wisconsin -6.3%
Massachusetts -6.8%
Kentucky -7.1%
West Virginia -7.1%
California -7.8%
Georgia -7.9%
North Dakota -8.0%
Virginia -9.7%
Indiana -9.9%
New Jersey -11.2%
Vermont -11.4%
Arizona -12.5%

AVG

-2.8
%
123 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

7.3% Tuition, Fees and Other


Costs of Attendance at
From 2008–2009 Colleges and Universities
to 2009–2010, the
change in average 8.2a
10.2a
tuition and fees at
Levels of Tuition and Fees for 2009–2010 (Enrollment-Weighted)
public two-year Source: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009
colleges and
30
universities in the
United States is $26,273
25
an increase of
7.3 percent. 20
$18,548
In Thousands

15

6.5% 10

5
$2,544
$7,020

From 2008–2009 0

to 2009–2010, the Public Public Public Private


2-Year 4-Year 4-Year 4-Year
change in average (In-State) (Out-of-State)

in-state tuition and


fees at public four- 8.2b
year colleges and 10.2b Percentage Change in Published Tuition and Fees Charges for
universities in the Undergraduates, 2008–2009 to 2009–2010 (Enrollment-Weighted)
United States is Source: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009
an increase of 30
6.5 percent.
25

20

15

10
7.3% 6.5% 6.2%
5 4.4%

Public Public Public Private


2-Year 4-Year 4-Year 4-Year
(In-State) (Out-of-State)
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 124

6.2%
What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
shows the tuition, fees and other costs of attendance at colleges and
universities, the average annual percentage increase in inflation-adjusted
published prices by decade, and the published tuition prices by state. Although
From 2008–2009 published prices can be deceptive because many students receive grant aid
that reduces the price they actually pay, other students do pay the full price.
to 2009–2010, the
Moreover, because of incomplete knowledge about the complex system of
change in average financial aid, many students are unaware of the subsidies available to them and
out-of-state tuition make decisions based on the published prices. Other costs, including room,
and fees at public board, books and other expenses are larger than tuition for many students and
four-year colleges must also be considered in evaluating financial barriers to college participation.

and universities in What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Prices are
the United States sometimes set by institutions and sometimes by state legislatures or other
is an increase of public bodies. While it is tempting to push for small tuition increases in order
6.2 percent. to promote affordability, the provision of quality education requires adequate
resources. Accordingly, tuition policy cannot be viewed in isolation from state
appropriations and student aid policies.

4.4% Where are we now? In the United States, the average published charges for
undergraduates have continued to increase. Figure 8.2b shows published tuition
and fee charges for undergraduate students has increased 7.3 percent for public
two-year tuition; 6.5 percent for public four-year in-state tuition; 6.2 percent
From 2008–2009 for public four-year out-of-state tuition; and 4.4 percent for private not-for-profit
to 2009–2010, the tuition. Figure 8.2c shows the annual percentage increase in inflation-adjusted
tuition and fees by decade. It is difficult to understand changes in tuition and fees
change in average
by state without understanding how much states currently charge for tuition.
tuition and fees
at private four- When the data are disaggregated by state, in-state published tuition prices at
public two-year institutions range from $809 in California to $6,010 in Vermont.
year colleges and
Figure 8.2d shows that when states are placed in rank order, the states with
universities in the the lowest in-state published tuition prices at public two-year institutions are
United States is California, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Mississippi. The states
an increases of with the highest percent in-state published tuition prices at public two-year
4.4 percent. institutions are Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Massachusetts and
South Dakota.

When the data are disaggregated by state, in-state published tuition prices
at public four-year institutions range from $3,649 in Wyoming to $11,883 in
Vermont. Figure 8.2e shows that when states are placed in rank order, the
states with the lowest in-state published tuition prices at public four-year
institutions are Wyoming, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Florida, and North
Carolina. The states with the highest percent in-state published tuition prices
at public four-year institutions are Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire,
Pennsylvania and Illinois.
125 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When the data are disaggregated by state, in-state published tuition prices
at private four-year institutions range from $5,571 in Utah to $33,427 in
Massachusetts. Figure 8.2f shows that when states are placed in rank order,
the states with the lowest in-state published tuition prices at private four-year
institutions are Utah, Idaho, Hawaii, Delaware, and Mississippi. The states
with the highest percent in-state published tuition prices at private four-year
institutions are Massachusetts, Connecticut, California, District of Columbia
and Maryland.

When the data are disaggregated by state, the change in in-state published
tuition prices at public two-year institutions range from -0.8 percent in Alabama
to 27.6 percent in California. Figure 8.2g shows that when states are placed in
rank order, the states with the lowest percentage change in in-state published
tuition prices at public two-year institutions are Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma,
Ohio and Montana. The states with the highest percentage change in in-state
published tuition prices at public two-year institutions are California, Georgia,
Alaska, North Carolina and Hawaii.

8.2c Average Annual Percentage Increase in 1980


1990
Inflation-Adjusted Published Prices by Decade,
10.2c 1979–1980 to 2009–2010
2000

Source: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009

10

6
5 4.9% 4.7%
4 4.0% 3.9%
3.4%
3 3.0% 2.9%
2.6%
2 1.8%
1

Public, 4-Year Private, 4-Year Public, 2-Year


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 126

When the data are disaggregated by state, the change in in-state published
tuition prices at public four-year institutions range from -1.0 percent in
Mississippi to 16.2 percent in Arizona. Figure 8.2h shows that when states
are placed in rank order, states with the lowest percentage change in in-state
published tuition prices at public four-year institutions are Mississippi, Missouri,
Oklahoma, Ohio and Maryland. The states with the highest percentage change
in in-state published tuition prices at public four-year institutions are Arizona,
Florida, Hawaii, New York and Washington.

When the data are disaggregated by state, the change in in-state published
tuition prices at private four-year institutions range from a -1.0 percent in Nevada
to 6.8 percent in Alaska. Figure 8.2i shows that when states are placed in rank
order, states with the lowest percentage change in in-state published tuition at
private four-year institutions are Nevada, West Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri and
Arizona. The states with the highest percentage change in in-state published
tuition at private four-year institutions are Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Alabama
and Oklahoma.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? Focusing


on published prices without also considering student aid and net prices can
give an exaggerated picture of the financial hurdles facing students. Moreover,
there is considerable variation in the prices charged by colleges and universities
in the United States. Typically, two-year public colleges charge less than four-
year public institutions, which have lower prices than for-profit institutions, and
the highest published prices are in the private not-for-profit sector. However,
there are also sizable differences within these sectors, particularly by state or
region and among doctoral universities, master’s universities, and baccalaureate
colleges. Increasingly, there are also multiple tuition levels within institutions,
depending on program and/or year of study.

One-year changes are of immediate interest, but it is really the long-run path
of college prices that determines the charges facing students. The 4.9 percent
annual rate of increase in inflation-adjusted tuition and fees at public four-year
colleges and universities from 1999–2000 to 2009–2010 was more rapid than
the growth rates of the two previous decades. However, rates of tuition growth
in the public two-year and private not-for-profit four-year sectors were lower than
in the two preceding decades.
127 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

8.2d In-State Tuition Prices at Public Two-Year Institutions by


8.2d State Rank, 2010
Sources: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009

In Thousands

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

California $809
New Mexico $1,192
North Carolina $1,586
Texas $1,736
Mississippi $1,829
Arizona $1,857
Nevada $1,978
Louisiana $2,024
Kansas $2,062
Wyoming $2,136
Nebraska $2,259
Arkansas $2,353
Idaho $2,393
Hawaii $2,417
Florida $2,527
Michigan $2,529
Missouri $2,566
Georgia $2,575
West Virginia $2,624
Oklahoma $2,678
Utah $2,681
Illinois $2,727
Colorado $2,730
Delaware $2,736
Alabama $2,812
Montana $2,911
Tennessee $2,943
UNITED STATES $2,982
Virginia $3,056
Washington $3,130 27
States
Connecticut $3,168
U.S. Average
Ohio $3,234
Maine $3,250 23*
Indiana $3,265 States

Rhode Island $3,343


Maryland $3,353
South Carolina $3,451
Pennsylvania $3,458
Wisconsin $3,495
Oregon $3,588
Iowa $3,672
Kentucky $3,722
Alaska $3,734
New Jersey $3,753
New York $3,849
North Dakota $3,872
South Dakota $4,259
Massachusetts $4,273
Minnesota $4,685
New Hampshire $5,830
Vermont $6,010
District of Columbia NA

AVG

2,982
$

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 128

8.2e In-State Tuition Prices at Public Four-Year Institutions by


8.2e State Rank, 2010
Sources: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009

In Thousands

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Wyoming $3,649
District of Columbia $3,860
Louisiana $4,247
Florida $4,339
North Carolina $4,496
Nevada $4,511
Utah $4,568
New Mexico $4,711
Idaho $4,839
Alaska $4,871
Mississippi $4,898
Georgia $4,919
West Virginia $4,960
Montana $5,436
Oklahoma $5,635
New York $5,704
California $5,937
Arkansas $5,946
Tennessee $6,053
South Dakota $6,085
Nebraska $6,171
Colorado $6,246
Kansas $6,249
North Dakota $6,269
Alabama $6,424
Arizona $6,489
Hawaii $6,581
Iowa $6,647
Oregon $6,841
UNITED STATES $6,874
Kentucky $7,047
Washington $7,145 29
States
Missouri $7,175
Wisconsin $7,189 U.S. Average

Texas $7,274 22
Maryland $7,411 States
Indiana $7,600
Virginia $7,873
Ohio $8,065
Rhode Island $8,424
Connecticut $8,455
Maine $8,462
Minnesota $8,665
Delaware $8,905
Massachusetts $9,148
South Carolina $9,430
Michigan $9,687
Illinois $10,448
Pennsylvania $10,679
New Hampshire $10,967
New Jersey $11,056
Vermont $11,883

AVG

6,874
$
129 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

8.2f In-State Tuition Prices at Private Four-Year Institutions by


8.2f State Rank, 2010
Sources: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009

In Thousands

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

Utah $5,571
Idaho $6,222
Hawaii $11,522
Delaware $13,265
Mississippi $13,596
North Dakota $13,622
Alabama $16,357
Arkansas $16,632
West Virginia $16,954
Michigan $18,180
Kansas $18,869
Nebraska $19,216
Oklahoma $19,508
Kentucky $19,928
South Dakota $20,259
South Carolina $20,298
Montana $20,661
Tennessee $21,249
Missouri $22,385
Nevada $22,750
Virginia $22,832
Alaska $22,995
UNITED STATES $23,535
Texas $23,591
Georgia $23,711 22
States
Florida $24,183
U.S. Average
Iowa $24,235
North Carolina $24,472 28*
Wisconsin $24,684 States

Arizona $24,720
Ohio $25,888
Illinois $25,970
Indiana $26,970
Louisiana $27,488
New Mexico $27,930
Minnesota $28,355
Washington $28,546
Oregon $28,958
New Jersey $29,170
Maine $29,335
Pennsylvania $29,818
New York $30,262
Rhode Island $30,575
New Hampshire $30,752
Vermont $30,802
Colorado $30,912
Maryland $31,405
District of Columbia $32,285
California $32,577
Connecticut $32,851
Massachusetts $33,427
Wyoming NA

AVG

23,535
$

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 130

8.2g Percentage Change in In-State Published Tuition Prices at Public


8.2g Two-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2008–2009 to 2009–2010
Sources: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009

-50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50

Alabama -0.8%
Missouri -0.8%
Oklahoma -0.6%
Ohio -0.3%
Montana 0.2%
Maryland 0.7%
Nebraska 0.8%
North Dakota 0.9%
Kentucky 1.0%
Arizona 2.0%
Wisconsin 2.1%
Arkansas 2.5%
Minnesota 2.7%
Nevada 3.0%
Maine 3.0%
Michigan 3.0%
Vermont 3.1%
South Carolina 3.1%
Mississippi 3.3%
Pennsylvania 3.4%
Kansas 3.9%
Louisiana 4.0%
New Hampshire 4.0%
Delaware 4.0%
New Mexico 4.0%
Indiana 4.1%
Texas 4.5%
Iowa 4.6%
Utah 4.9%
Illinois 5.0%
New York 5.4%
Washington 5.7%
New Jersey 5.7%
Wyoming 5.8%
West Virginia 5.8%
Tennessee 6.0%
Connecticut 6.2%
Virginia 6.9%
Colorado 7.1%
Idaho 7.2%
UNITED STATES 7.3%
Oregon 7.6%
South Dakota 8.1% 40
States
Rhode Island 8.2%
Massachusetts 8.9% U.S. Average

Florida 10.3%
10*
Hawaii 10.3% States
North Carolina 17.5%
Alaska 17.6%
Georgia 22.4%
California 27.6%
District of Columbia NA

AVG

7.3
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


131 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

8.2h Percentage Change in Published In-State Tuition Prices at Public


8.2h Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2008–2009 to 2009–2010
Sources: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009

-50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50

Mississippi -1.0%
Missouri -0.7%
Oklahoma -0.1%
Ohio 0.0%
Maryland 0.3%
Arkansas 0.5%
Wyoming 0.8%
Montana 1.9%
District of Columbia 2.4%
North Carolina 2.4%
Nevada 2.6%
North Dakota 2.7%
New Jersey 2.9%
Pennsylvania 3.1%
South Carolina 3.3%
Iowa 3.3%
Kentucky 3.5%
Nebraska 3.6%
Virginia 3.9%
Kansas 4.0%
Alaska 4.1%
Minnesota 4.2%
New Mexico 4.2%
Illinois 4.3%
Louisiana 4.3%
Maine 4.8%
Vermont 4.8%
Idaho 4.9%
Texas 5.1%
Connecticut 5.2%
Indiana 5.2%
West Virginia 5.4%
Wisconsin 5.8%
Michigan 6.1%
Tennessee 6.5%
UNITED STATES 6.5%
New Hampshire 6.5%
South Dakota 6.8% 35
States
Utah 6.9%
U.S. Average
Delaware 7.4%
Alabama 7.6% 16
States
Colorado 7.8%
Rhode Island 9.0%
California 9.2%
Oregon 9.6%
Georgia 10.5%
Massachusetts 11.0%
Washington 11.1%
New York 11.4%
Hawaii 13.0%
Florida 13.4%
Arizona 16.2%

AVG

6.5
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 132

8.2i Percentage Change in Published In-State Tuition Prices at Private


8.2i Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2008–2009 to 2009–2010
Sources: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009

-50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50

Nevada -1.0%
West Virginia 1.9%
Mississippi 2.1%
Missouri 2.8%
Arizona 2.8%
Nebraska 2.8%
Maine 2.8%
Massachusetts 2.9%
Rhode Island 2.9%
District of Columbia 2.9%
California 2.9%
Florida 2.9%
Connecticut 3.0%
New Jersey 3.0%
Iowa 3.0%
Pennsylvania 3.0%
South Carolina 3.0%
Ohio 3.1%
New Hampshire 3.2%
Michigan 3.2%
South Dakota 3.2%
Idaho 3.2%
New Mexico 3.3%
Maryland 3.3%
North Dakota 3.3%
Vermont 3.3%
Georgia 3.4%
Indiana 3.4%
Virginia 3.4%
Tennessee 3.5%
Wisconsin 3.5%
New York 3.6%
Washington 3.6%
Colorado 3.7%
Illinois 3.7%
North Carolina 3.7%
Oregon 3.8%
Minnesota 3.9%
Louisiana 4.0%
Utah 4.1%
Delaware 4.1%
Montana 4.2%
Kentucky 4.2%
Kansas 4.2%
UNITED STATES 4.4%
Texas 4.8%
Oklahoma 4.8% 44
States
Alabama 4.8%
U.S. Average
Hawaii 5.5%
Arkansas 5.7% 6*
States
Alaska 6.8%
Wyoming NA

AVG

4.4
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


133 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

$ 1,620 Net Price Students Pay


for College
As of 2009–2010,
at public four-year 8.3 Private, 4-Year
Public, 4-Year
institutions, the Published Net Tuition and Fees for Full-Time Public, 2-Year

net price students Undergraduate Students, 1995–2010 (in Constant


pay for tuition and10.3 2009 Dollars)
Source: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009
fees is $1,620 (after
subtracting grants and 14
$12,990
federal tax benefits). $12,150 $11,870
11 $10,410

- 460 $
In Thousands

As of 2009–2010, $2,130 $2,140 $2,030


$1,620
at public two-year 2

institutions, the 0
$60
-$460
$1,000 $630
net price students -1

pay for tuition and 1994–1995 1999–2000 2004–2005 2009–2010


fees is -$460 (after
subtracting grants and
What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
federal tax benefits). measures the average tuition and fees at institutions. This measure is important
because increases in need-based grant aid frequently provide better-targeted
improvements in college affordability than does across-the-board tuition restraint.

$11,870 What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Net prices are the
result of the interaction of tuition and fee levels, the other expenses students
face, and student aid availability. Policymakers must focus on both published
prices and financial aid to monitor growth in net prices.
As of 2009–2010,
at private four-year Where are we now? In the United States today, the average net tuition and
institutions, the net fees for full-time students is -$460 at public two-year institutions, $1,620 at
price students pay public four-year institutions and $11,870 at private four-year institutions — after
for tuition and fees adjusting for inflation. Figure 8.3 shows that the average net tuition and fees for
full-time students has decreased from 2005–2010 at all institutional types.
is $11,870 (after
subtracting grants and
federal tax benefits).
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 134

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Average net prices within sectors provide a clear view of the contrast between
published prices and the amount typical students actually pay. However, it is the
distribution of net prices across income levels that provides the most insight
into affordability.

On average, net tuition and fees have risen more slowly than published prices,
and net tuition and fees have even declined from 2004–2005 to 2009–2010 after
adjusting for inflation. However, average net tuition, fees, room and board at
public four-year colleges increased 1.4 percent per year beyond the general rate
of inflation over this five-year period.

Price increases have a much larger impact on low- and moderate-income


students than on those with greater resources. In recent years, net prices have
risen most rapidly at public four-year colleges for students from families in the
upper half of the income distribution.

-3.7 % Changes in Family


Income Levels
The trend from 1998
to 2008 in inflation 8.4
10.4a Growth in Mean Family Income by Quintile, 1998–2008
adjusted average
(in Constant 2008 Dollars)
family income is a
Source: The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009; data from U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population
decline of 3.7 percent. Survey, Table F-3.
*Note: Top 5% is a subset of the Highest 20%.

20

15

10

5
2.1% 2.5%
0 0.0% 0.5%

-5 -2.0%
-3.7%
-10

-15

-20

Lowest 20% Second 20% Third 20% Fourth 20% Highest 20% Top 5%*
Income Quintile
135 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the percentage growth in mean family income by quintile in constant
2008 dollars. This measure is important because college affordability depends
on family financial capacity and on the prices of other major goods and
services. Much of the current difficulty families and students face in financing
postsecondary education arises from widespread unemployment, increased
income inequality and general economic weakness.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Income levels are
not directly correlated to education policy, but changes in incomes must be kept
in mind in evaluating reasonable education financing policies.

Where are we now? In the United States, growth in average family income for
low-income families declined 3.7 percent from 1998 to 2008. Figure 8.4 shows
that the percent growth in mean family income also declined for the second
quintile by 2.0 percent, yet for middle-income families there was no growth.
Income levels increased for the fourth 20 percent, highest 20 percent, and the
top 5 percent (which is a subset of the top 20 percent).

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? The


distribution of income and changes in that distribution over time highlight
the extent to which college affordability problems are concentrated in certain
segments of the population.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Eight 136

0.2 % Earnings of College Graduates


What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the average earnings of full-time workers ages 25 to 29 in the
Average earnings for United States. This measure is important because postsecondary education
full-time workers ages is an investment in the future that pays off in a variety of ways, including higher
lifetime earnings. It is reasonable for students to borrow and repay their debts
25 to 29 increases by
out of future earnings. The earnings premium for college education determines
0.2 percent for those how feasible it is to repay these debts.
with bachelor’s
degrees. What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The earnings
of recent college graduates determine the ease with which they can repay
their student debt. Slow growth and instability in these earnings levels make
the need for income-based repayment and other protections for borrowers
in repayment more urgent.

0.4 % 10.5a
8.5a
Average earnings for Average Earnings of Full-Time Workers Ages 25–29, 2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2009
full-time workers ages
25 to 29 increases by 60
0.4 percent for those
$51,013
with a bachelor’s 50 $48,710
degree or higher.
40
$36,158 $37,531
In Thousands

$31,925
30

-10.7%
20

10

0
Average earnings for High School Some College Associate Degree Bachelor’s Bachelor’s Degree
full-time workers ages No Degree Degree or Higher
25 to 29 declines by
10.7 percent for those
with an associate
degree.
137 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

10.5b
8.5b Change in Average Earnings of Full-Time Workers Ages
25–29, 2007 to 2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2009

20

15

10

0
0.6% 0.2% 0.4%

-5 -1.2%

-10

-15 -10.7%

-20

High School Some College Associate Bachelor’s Bachelor’s Degree


No Degree Degree Degree or Higher

Where are we now? In 2008, the inflation adjusted average earnings for full-
time workers ages 25 to 29 in the United States was $31,925 for high school
graduates compared with $48,710 for those with a bachelor’s degree. Figure
8.5b shows the average earnings for full-time workers ages 25 to 29 from 2007
to 2008 declined by 10.7 percent for those workers with an associate degree,
yet increased by 0.6 percent for workers with some college experience, 0.2
percent for those with bachelor’s degrees, and 0.4 percent for those with a
bachelor’s degree or higher.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? Earnings


for 25- to 29-year-olds have not grown measurably in recent years — even
without adjusting for inflation — for workers at any level of educational
attainment. Those with no college education and those with associate degrees
have seen the largest declines. The gap in mean earnings between those who
have earned bachelor’s degrees and those with no college experience was
$16,785 in 2008.
Nine
Dramatically increase
college completion rates
WE RECOMMEND that institutions of higher education
set out to dramatically increase college completion rates by
improving retention, easing transfer among institutions and
implementing data-based strategies to identify retention
and dropout challenges.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 140

Increasing college graduation rates is very important to ensuring that the nation
reach 55 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds with an associate degree or higher. The
commission noted that it is imperative that institutions have the determination
to understand why some students do not graduate, with the hope of developing
and implementing interventions that will enhance graduation rates across all
student groups.

Increasing college completion rates is all the more challenging in light of the
projected demographic changes in the coming years.49 These projections
indicate that the greatest growth in high school graduates will be among groups
who historically have not had as much access to or success in higher education.
The commission’s goal cannot be met without a substantial commitment by
states and institutions to eliminate racial and ethnic gaps in degree completion.
The impact of the changing population will not be felt equally across states,
and the subsequent implications for policymakers and educators vary by state
as well.50, 51

Since the commission released its initial recommendation in 2008, there has
been a renewed national interest concerning college students who fail to earn
a degree; however, there has been little progress in actually tracking those
students who graduate and those who do not.

In understanding the degree to which the nation is successfully increasing


completion rates, three indicators may prove fruitful to policymakers and
educators:

• Freshman-to-sophomore retention;
• Three-year graduation rates of associate degree–seeking students; and
• Six-year graduation rates of bachelor’s degree–seeking students.

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• As of 2007, 78.0 percent of full-time students across the nation who enter
a public four-year institution with the intent to earn a degree are retained
from freshman to sophomore year.
• As of 2007, 59.0 percent of full-time students across the nation who enter
a public two-year institution with the intent to earn a degree are retained
from freshman to sophomore year.
• As of 2007, 27.8 percent of students across the nation who enter an
institution with the intent of earning an associate degree persist to
graduation in three years or less.

49. See Knocking at the College Door (2008), Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education for
more details.
50. Hitting Home: Quality, Cost, and Access Challenges Confronting Higher Education Today (2007), Produced
by Jobs for the Future (Travis Reindl) for Making Opportunity Affordable.
51. Adding It Up: State Challenges for Increasing College Access and Success (2007). Produced by the
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and Jobs for the Future for Making
Opportunity Affordable.
141 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

• As of 2007, 56.1 percent of students across the nation who enter an


institution with the intent of earning a bachelor’s degree persist to
graduation in six years or less.

78.0 % Freshman-to-Sophomore
Retention Rate
As of 2007,
78.0 percent of full- 9.1a Private, 4-Year
Public, 4-Year
time students across National Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Public, 2-Year
the nation who enter
11.1a Retention Rates, 2004–2007
a public, four-year Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

institution with
100
the intent to earn a
90
degree are retained 80.0% 79.8% 79.2% 79.5%
80
from freshman to
70
sophomore year. 78.0% 77.7% 77.7% 78.0%
60

50 59.0%
58.6% 58.3% 58.5%

59.0 %
40

30

20

10
As of 2007, 0
59.0 percent of full-
2004 2005 2006 2007
time students across
the nation who enter
a public, two-year What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
institution with measures the retention rates from freshman to sophomore year at public and
the intent to earn a private two- and four-year institutions in the United States. This measure is
degree are retained important in ensuring that students are on track to completing an associate or
bachelor’s degree in a timely manner (three years for associate degree–seeking
from freshman to
students and six years for bachelor’s degree–seeking students).
sophomore year.
What are the policy issues associated with this measure? This measure
reflects how students within states are retained from freshman to sophomore
year at two- and four-year institutions. Freshman-to-sophomore year retention
rates are an important indicator in the pipeline for students desiring to obtain
an associate or bachelor’s degree. Graduation rates are closely associated with
first-year retention rates because many students abandon their pursuit of a
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 142

79.5 % degree during their first year. Though there are several factors that may lead
students to drop out (e.g., financial aid, preparation, adjustment to college,
socioeconomic background, ethnicity, etc.), students who end their pursuit of a
degree in the first year will be less likely to graduate in a timely manner.52
As of 2006,
Where are we now? In the United States, 78.0 percent of full-time students
79.5 percent of full- across the nation who enter a public four-year institution with the intent to earn
time students across a degree are retained from freshman to sophomore year. Similarly, 59.0 percent
the nation who enter of full-time students across the nation who enter a public two-year institution
a private, four-year with the intent to earn a degree are retained from freshman to sophomore year.
Figure 9.1a shows that the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate remained
institution with
relatively stable for public two-year, public four-year, and private four-year
the intent to earn a institutions.
degree are retained
When the data are disaggregated by the full-time freshman-to-sophomore
from freshman to
retention rate at public two-year institutions, the percentages range from 42.8
sophomore year. percent in Montana to 68.9 percent in North Dakota. Figure 9.1b shows that
when states are placed in rank order, states with the highest retention rate are
North Dakota, California, South Dakota, Florida and Nevada. The states with
the lowest retention rate are Montana, Alaska, Indiana, Vermont, Oklahoma
and Louisiana.

When the data are disaggregated by the full-time freshman-to-sophomore


retention rate at public four-year institutions, the percentages range from 66.2
percent in Idaho to 85.8 percent in Virginia. Figure 9.1c shows that when states
are placed in rank order, states with the highest retention rate are Virginia,
Delaware, California, New Jersey and New Hampshire. The states with the
lowest retention rate are Idaho, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alaska and South Dakota.

When the data are disaggregated by the full-time freshman-to-sophomore


retention rate at private four-year institutions, the percentages range from 55.0
percent in Delaware to 85.7 percent in Massachusetts. Figure 9.1d shows that
when states are placed in rank order, states with the highest retention rate are
Massachusetts, California, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota. The states
with the lowest retention rate are Delaware, New Mexico, Michigan, Montana
and Kansas.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Freshman-to-sophomore year is merely an indicator to gauge how well institutions
are retaining students after the first year; it will not fully determine the graduation
rates of students who are seeking associate or bachelor’s degrees. Students
who work while in school, attend school irregularly, and/or have problems
financing school will also fall behind in both retention and graduation indicators.
Students who transfer are included in these numbers, making retention rates
seem lower at schools with high transfer rates.

52. Terezini, P. T., Springer, L., Yaeger, P. M., Pascarella, E. T. and Nora, A. (1996). First-generation college students:
Characteristics, experiences and cognitive development. Research in Higher Education, 37(1), 1-22.
143 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.1b Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates at Public


Two-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2007
11.1c
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

North Dakota 68.9%


California 67.4%
South Dakota 67.3%
Florida 67.1%
Nevada 64.5%
New York 62.7%
Rhode Island 62.7%
Nebraska 61.9%
Hawaii 61.3%
Virginia 61.2%
New Jersey 61.1%
Wyoming 60.9%
Mississippi 60.4%
Kentucky 60.0%
Maryland 59.8%
Michigan 59.0%
UNITED STATES 59.0%
Illinois 58.1%
Texas 57.8% 16
States
Iowa 57.6%
Missouri 57.6% U.S. Average

Pennsylvania 57.6% 34*


Washington 57.4% States
Minnesota 56.8%
Alabama 56.7%
Georgia 56.5%
Maine 56.4%
Arizona 56.3%
Kansas 56.3%
Massachusetts 56.2%
Tennessee 55.9%
Delaware 55.5%
Connecticut 55.1%
Colorado 54.4%
New Hampshire 54.4%
North Carolina 54.4%
Wisconsin 54.3%
Ohio 53.8%
New Mexico 52.9%
Utah 52.9%
West Virginia 51.8%
Arkansas 50.8%
Oregon 50.4%
Idaho 50.1%
South Carolina 50.1%
Louisiana 49.9%
Oklahoma 49.5%
Vermont 49.4%
Indiana 48.5%
Alaska 43.3% AVG
Montana
District of Columbia
42.8%
NA
59.0
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 144

9.1c Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates at Public


Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2007
11.1e
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Virginia 85.8%
Delaware 85.2%
California 84.8%
New Jersey 84.7%
New Hampshire 84.1%
Iowa 83.4%
Washington 82.2%
Connecticut 82.0%
New York 82.0%
Pennsylvania 81.4%
Illinois 80.9%
Michigan 80.8%
North Carolina 80.6%
Maryland 80.3%
Rhode Island 79.4%
Wisconsin 79.2%
Florida 78.9%
South Carolina 78.5%
Minnesota 78.3%
Nebraska 78.1%
UNITED STATES 78.0%
Oregon 77.7%
Massachusetts 77.6% 20
States
Arizona 77.5%
Vermont 77.4% U.S. Average

Georgia 76.6% 30*


Mississippi 76.0% States

Alabama 75.9%
North Dakota 75.5%
Ohio 75.5%
Missouri 75.3%
Indiana 75.1%
Kansas 74.5%
Colorado 74.4%
Nevada 74.4%
Wyoming 74.3%
Maine 73.1%
Hawaii 73.0%
Tennessee 73.0%
Utah 72.9%
Texas 72.8%
Kentucky 72.0%
West Virginia 71.5%
New Mexico 70.7%
Louisiana 70.3%
Montana 70.2%
South Dakota 70.0%
Alaska 69.4%
Arkansas 69.3%
Oklahoma 66.8% AVG
Idaho
District of Columbia
66.2%
NA
78.0
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


145 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.1d Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates at Private


Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2007
11.1g
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Massachusetts 85.7%
California 85.3%
Washington 84.7%
Maryland 84.4%
Minnesota 84.2%
Pennsylvania 83.9%
Rhode Island 83.7%
Connecticut 83.2%
New York 83.0%
Utah 82.9%
Vermont 82.7%
Colorado 82.4%
New Jersey 81.8%
Maine 81.6%
Indiana 81.4%
Oregon 81.4%
New Hampshire 81.2%
UNITED STATES 79.5%
Wisconsin 79.2%
Illinois 78.6% 17
States
Ohio 78.1%
Alaska 77.2% U.S. Average

Iowa 76.8%
32*
Missouri 76.5% States
Louisiana 76.4%
Georgia 76.0%
Nebraska 75.9%
Texas 75.6%
Arkansas 75.2%
Tennessee 75.2%
Arizona 74.7%
South Dakota 74.2%
Virginia 73.6%
Florida 73.3%
Mississippi 73.2%
Nevada 73.2%
North Carolina 72.4%
Idaho 72.3%
Kentucky 70.5%
North Dakota 70.3%
Oklahoma 70.0%
South Carolina 69.7%
West Virginia 69.0%
Hawaii 68.5%
Alabama 68.3%
Kansas 66.2%
Montana 65.7%
Michigan 64.2%
New Mexico 63.4%
Delaware 55.0% AVG
District of Columbia
Wyoming
NA
NA
79.5
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 146

27.8 % Three-Year Graduation


Rates of Associate Degree–
As of 2007, Seeking Students
27.8 percent of
students across the
nation who enter 9.2a
an institution with National Three-Year Graduation Rates of Associate Degree–Seeking
11.2a Students, Fall 1997–2007
the intent of earning
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009
an associate degree
persist to graduation 100

in three years or less. 90

80

70

21.2%
60

50

40
31.3% 30.0% 29.8% 30.6% 30.0%
30 28.6% 29.5% 29.1% 29.3% 29.1% 27.8%
As of 2007,
20
21.2 percent of
10
associate degree–
0
seeking American
Indian students 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007

persist to graduation.
9.2b

26.4%
National Three-Year Graduation Rates of Associate Degree–Seeking
11.2b Students by Race/Ethnicity, 2007
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

100
As of 2007, 90
26.4 percent of 80
associate degree– 70
64.3%
seeking African 60
American students 50
43.5%
persist to graduation. 40 36.7%
AVG
30 26.4%
21.2%
27.8
20 18.1% %
10

African American Asian Hispanic Other White


American Indian
147 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

18.1 % What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
builds upon the retention indicator to provide a more complete picture of the
educational progress of American college students. It represents the proportion
of entering first-year, associate degree–seeking students who graduate within
As of 2007, 18.1 150 percent of normal program length (i.e., three years).
percent of associate The measure is central to the commission’s goal and important because of the
degree–seeking role that two-year degree programs play in the American educational landscape.
Hispanic students This role may become increasingly important due to the changing demographics
described in the introduction to this section and the economic challenges faced
persist to graduation.
by a growing number of Americans.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? This measure
reflects how well students within states are persisting to an associate degree
and is, in part, a measure of the timeliness with which students complete
college. States benefit in two important ways from high graduation rates at
two-year institutions. First, it leads to higher associate degree production and
a better-educated citizenry. Second, it signals that the postsecondary pipeline
is functioning better — that students are moving through the pipeline. If a
greater proportion of students complete their degree, it allows more room
for others to enter.

Where are we now? In the United States, 27.8 percent of students across the
nation who enter an institution with the intent of earning an associate degree
persist to graduation in three years or less. Figure 9.2a shows the national
three-year graduation rate has remained relatively stable from 1997 to 2007,
yet the rate seems to have declined since 2003. Figure 9.2b shows there are
vast differences in three-year graduation rates by race/ethnicity. While Asians
and whites have the highest graduation rate at 64.3 percent and 43.5 percent
respectively, the graduation rates for American Indian, African American and
Hispanic students are 21.2 percent, 26.4 percent and 18.1 percent, respectively.

When the data are disaggregated by the three-year graduation rate of associate
degree–seeking students, the percentages range from 10.8 percent in Delaware
to 70.6 percent in South Dakota. Figure 9.2c shows that when states are placed
in rank order, the states with the highest three-year graduation rate are South
Dakota, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada and Florida. The states with the lowest
three year graduation rate are Delaware, South Carolina, New Jersey, Rhode
Island and Hawaii.

When the data are disaggregated by the three-year graduation rate of associate
degree–seeking students by Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander
students, the percentages range from 36.2 percent in Alaska to 77.7 percent
in New Jersey. Figure 9.2d shows that when states are placed in rank order
for Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander students, states with the
highest graduation rate are New Jersey, North Dakota, Michigan, Illinois and
Connecticut. The states with the lowest graduation rate are Alaska, Hawaii,
Nevada, Utah and Arkansas.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 148

When the data are disaggregated by the three-year graduation rate of associate
degree–seeking students by American Indian or Alaska Native students, the
percentages range from 10.7 percent in Alaska to 44.0 percent in Maryland.
Figure 9.2e shows that when states are placed in rank order for Native
American and Alaska Native students, states with the highest graduation rate
are Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Illinois and Massachusetts. The
states with the lowest graduation rate are Alaska, Maine, Louisiana, Arizona
and Ohio.

When the data are disaggregated by the three-year graduation rate of associate
degree–seeking students by African American students, the percentages range
from 16.8 percent in Louisiana to 62.4 percent in North Dakota. Figure 9.2f
shows that when states are placed in rank order for African American students,
states with the highest graduation rate are North Dakota, New Mexico, New
Hampshire, Arizona and Utah. The states with the lowest graduation rate are
Louisiana, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Nevada and Arkansas.

When the data are disaggregated by the three-year graduation rate of associate
degree–seeking students by Hispanic students, the percentages range from
10.0 percent in Arkansas to 41.7 percent in Vermont. Figure 9.2g shows that
when states are placed in rank order for Hispanic students, states with the
highest graduation rate are Vermont, North Dakota, Florida, New Hampshire
and Montana. The states with the lowest graduation rate are Arkansas, Nevada,
Oklahoma, Idaho and Nebraska.

When the data are disaggregated by the three-year graduation rate of associate
degree–seeking students by white students, the percentages range from 27.5
percent in West Virginia to 54.7 percent in Massachusetts. Figure 9.2h shows
that when states are placed in rank order for white students, states with the
highest graduation rate are Massachusetts, New York, Colorado, Connecticut
and New Jersey. The states with the lowest graduation rate are West Virginia,
Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee.
149 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.2c Three-Year Graduation Rates of Associate Degree–Seeking Students


by State Rank, 2007
11.2d
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

South Dakota 70.6%


Wyoming 60.4%
Arizona 46.3%
Nevada 43.3%
Florida 40.0%
Utah 39.9%
Pennsylvania 39.2%
Colorado 37.5%
Idaho 36.9%
North Dakota 35.3%
Iowa 34.4%
Wisconsin 33.5%
California 33.0%
Nebraska 32.1%
New Hampshire 31.7%
Minnesota 31.6%
Missouri 31.2%
Kansas 30.9%
Washington 30.4%
Tennessee 29.4%
Maine 28.9%
Georgia 28.7%
Oregon 28.4%
Oklahoma 28.1%
Indiana 27.9%
UNITED STATES 27.8%
West Virginia 27.2%
Virginia 27.2% 25
States
Montana 26.9%
U.S. Average
Ohio 25.9%
Illinois 24.8% 25*
Louisiana 24.5% States

Arkansas 24.3%
Alaska 24.1%
New York 23.1%
Kentucky 23.0%
North Carolina 21.5%
Mississippi 21.4%
Maryland 20.3%
Alabama 19.8%
Texas 18.8%
Massachusetts 18.3%
New Mexico 16.6%
Connecticut 16.1%
Vermont 15.6%
Michigan 15.4%
Rhode Island 14.5%
Hawaii 14.5%
New Jersey 13.9%
South Carolina 13.4% AVG
Delaware
District of Columbia
10.8%
NA
27.8
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 150

9.2d Three-Year Graduation Rates for Asian, Native Hawaiian and Other
Pacific Islander Associate Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007
11.2f
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
New Jersey 77.7%
North Dakota 77.6%
Michigan 75.2%
Illinois 74.9%
Connecticut 73.7%
West Virginia 73.4%
Maryland 73.1%
Delaware 72.9%
Indiana 72.1%
Ohio 71.5%
New Hampshire 71.1%
Massachusetts 70.9%
Vermont 68.9%
Virginia 68.7%
Pennsylvania 68.0%
Nebraska 68.0%
Rhode Island 67.5%
Texas 67.1%
South Dakota 66.5%
Missouri 65.6%
Arizona 65.3%
UNITED STATES 64.3%
Iowa 64.2%
California 64.0% 21
States
Alabama 63.9%
North Carolina 63.8% U.S. Average

Kentucky 63.2%
29*
New Mexico 63.1% States
Tennessee 62.9%
Georgia 61.3%
Colorado 61.2%
Wyoming 61.0%
Florida 60.8%
New York 60.5%
Oregon 60.4%
Washington 59.6%
Kansas 58.9%
Montana 58.9%
Wisconsin 58.3%
South Carolina 55.6%
Idaho 54.7%
Oklahoma 54.7%
Minnesota 54.5%
Louisiana 53.1%
Mississippi 51.5%
Maine 50.8%
Arkansas 49.2%
Utah 46.2%
Nevada 43.9%
Hawaii 42.8% AVG
Alaska
District of Columbia
36.2%
NA
64.3
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


151 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.2e Three-Year Graduation Rates for American Indian or Alaska Native


Associate Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007
11.2h
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Maryland 44.0%
New Hampshire 43.6%
West Virginia 40.6%
Illinois 37.4%
Massachusetts 35.4%
Hawaii 35.3%
Rhode Island 34.7%
Kansas 33.1%
Virginia 32.1%
Delaware 31.8%
Texas 30.5%
Pennsylvania 29.9%
Arkansas 29.7%
Iowa 29.7%
North Dakota 28.6%
Florida 27.2%
Alabama 26.9%
New Jersey 26.8%
Indiana 26.6%
New York 26.2%
Colorado 25.8%
Georgia 24.7%
Wisconsin 24.7%
Nebraska 24.3%
California 23.9%
Connecticut 23.6%
Missouri 23.5%
Oklahoma 22.1%
UNITED STATES 21.2%
Tennessee 21.1%
Michigan 20.9% 28
States
Utah 20.7%
Minnesota 20.0% U.S. Average
Kentucky 19.5%
21*
Nevada 19.4% States
Wyoming 19.4%
North Carolina 18.8%
Washington 18.3%
Mississippi 18.2%
South Carolina 17.7%
Montana 17.6%
Oregon 17.3%
Idaho 17.0%
New Mexico 17.0%
South Dakota 16.8%
Ohio 16.6%
Arizona 16.0%
Louisiana 13.8%
Maine 12.4%
Alaska 10.7% AVG
District of Columbia
Vermont
NA
NA
21.2
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 152

9.2f Three-Year Graduation Rates for African American Associate


Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007
11.2j
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

North Dakota 62.4%


New Mexico 37.5%
New Hampshire 37.1%
Arizona 34.3%
Utah 34.2%
Maryland 34.0%
Hawaii 33.8%
Colorado 33.4%
Massachusetts 32.5%
Iowa 32.2%
New York 32.1%
Rhode Island 31.4%
Maine 31.4%
California 31.1%
Washington 30.6%
Minnesota 29.8%
New Jersey 29.4%
Delaware 29.2%
Kansas 28.7%
Connecticut 28.2%
Georgia 28.2%
Illinois 28.2%
Virginia 27.5%
Alaska 27.1%
Oregon 26.8%
North Carolina 26.8%
UNITED STATES 26.4%
Texas 26.3%
Florida 25.7% 26
States
Idaho 24.8%
Oklahoma 24.4% U.S. Average

Pennsylvania 24.1% 22*


Wyoming 23.7% States
Kentucky 23.7%
Indiana 23.0%
Ohio 22.8%
Tennessee 22.4%
Missouri 22.3%
West Virginia 22.2%
Michigan 21.5%
Mississippi 21.2%
Alabama 21.1%
South Carolina 20.6%
Nebraska 20.6%
Arkansas 20.4%
Nevada 20.2%
South Dakota 19.5%
Wisconsin 19.4%
Louisiana 16.8%
District of Columbia NA AVG
Montana
Vermont
NA
NA
26.4
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


153 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.2g Three-Year Graduation Rates for Hispanic Associate Degree–Seeking


Students by State Rank, 2007
11.2l
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Vermont 41.7%
North Dakota 32.7%
Florida 30.8%
New Hampshire 30.8%
Montana 27.5%
West Virginia 27.3%
New York 24.5%
Virginia 23.8%
Hawaii 23.8%
Maine 23.7%
Ohio 23.6%
Maryland 23.6%
Louisiana 22.8%
Wyoming 22.2%
Massachusetts 22.1%
Missouri 22.0%
New Jersey 21.7%
Rhode Island 21.1%
New Mexico 19.7%
Michigan 19.4%
Kentucky 18.9%
Pennsylvania 18.5%
Connecticut 18.4%
Minnesota 18.4%
Wisconsin 18.2%
UNITED STATES 18.1%
Illinois 17.6%
Washington 17.0% 25
States
Indiana 16.7%
Colorado 16.6% U.S. Average

South Dakota 16.5%


25*
Delaware 16.2% States
Iowa 16.0%
Texas 15.9%
Utah 15.7%
California 15.2%
Georgia 15.2%
Arizona 15.1%
Alaska 15.0%
South Carolina 14.7%
Mississippi 14.4%
Kansas 14.3%
Oregon 13.4%
Tennessee 13.4%
Alabama 13.3%
North Carolina 12.6%
Nebraska 12.5%
Idaho 11.9%
Oklahoma 11.5%
Nevada 10.4% AVG
Arkansas
District of Columbia
10.0%
NA
18.1
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 154

9.2h Three-Year Graduation Rates for White Associate Degree–Seeking


Students by State Rank, 2007
11.2n
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Massachusetts 54.7%
New York 54.2%
Colorado 52.4%
Connecticut 52.0%
New Jersey 51.7%
Hawaii 51.1%
Maryland 50.9%
Minnesota 50.2%
Illinois 49.6%
California 49.6%
North Dakota 49.4%
Virginia 47.4%
Nebraska 47.2%
New Mexico 45.1%
Rhode Island 45.1%
South Dakota 44.8%
Washington 44.2%
Kansas 44.1%
Texas 43.8%
New Hampshire 43.6%
UNITED STATES 43.5%
Wisconsin 43.4%
Arizona 43.2% 20
States
Iowa 43.1%
North Carolina 43.0% U.S. Average

Utah 42.4%
30*
Pennsylvania 42.3% States
Vermont 42.2%
Delaware 41.7%
Georgia 41.4%
Florida 41.0%
South Carolina 40.1%
Oregon 39.7%
Alaska 39.7%
Michigan 39.5%
Montana 38.3%
Maine 37.5%
Ohio 37.5%
Missouri 37.4%
Idaho 36.9%
Wyoming 36.4%
Mississippi 35.2%
Indiana 35.2%
Alabama 35.2%
Nevada 35.1%
Oklahoma 33.9%
Tennessee 33.2%
Louisiana 32.6%
Kentucky 31.2%
Arkansas 30.0% AVG
West Virginia
District of Columbia
27.5%
NA
43.5
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


155 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Graduation rates are associated with many other factors (e.g., first-generation
status, preparation, socioeconomic background, ethnicity, adjustment to
college, etc.). This statistic does not account for transfers across institutions.
It should also be noted that students who do not graduate with an associate
degree in three years may still persist and complete the degree at a later date.
This measure captures only those students who graduated in the three-year
time frame (150 percent of normal program length) within which they were
expected to graduate.

It remains to be seen whether the current economic climate will increase the
demands placed on two-year programs. Students who traditionally aspire to
attain four-year degrees may be forced to turn their attention toward two-year
programs in order to keep the overall cost of attaining a bachelor’s degree
down. However, retention and degree attainment at two-year institutions
are well below those of four-year institutions. Strong articulation agreements
between two- and four-year institutions are needed throughout the United
States in order to reverse this trend, and more must be done to ensure that
students who enter two-year institutions complete these degrees in a timely
manner. Because many low-income and underrepresented minorities are
increasingly gaining access to two-year institutions, it is important that the
retention and graduation rates at two-year institutions follow suit to ensure that
the graduation rates among these groups also increases.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 156

56.1 % Six-Year Graduation Rates


of Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking
As of 2007, Students
56.1 percent of
students across the
nation who enter an 9.3a
institution with the National Six-Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking
11.3a Students, 1997–2007
intent of earning a
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009
bachelor’s degree
persist to graduation 100

in six years or less. 90

80

70

38.6 % 60

50

40
52.2% 52.0% 52.0% 53.0% 54.0% 54.3% 54.3% 55.3% 55.8% 56.4% 56.1%

As of 2007, 30

38.6 percent of 20

bachelor’s degree– 10

seeking American 0
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Indian students
persist to graduation.
9.3b
National Six-Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking

40.5%
11.3b Students by Race/Ethnicity, 2007
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

100

90
As of 2007,
80
40.5 percent of
70
bachelor’s degree– 65.5%
60 59.4% AVG

seeking African 56.1


50 46.8% %
American students 40.5%
40 38.6%
persist to graduation.
30
20

10

0
African American Asian Hispanic White
American Indian
157 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

46.8 % What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This indicator
measures the rate at which entering freshmen graduate within 150 percent
of normal program length. The data represents the six-year graduation rates
for full-time bachelor’s degree–seeking students.
As of 2007,
What are the policy issues associated with this measure? This measure
46.8 percent of reflects how well students within states are persisting to a bachelor’s degree
bachelor’s degree– and is, in part, a measure of an institution’s ability to create the environment
seeking Hispanic necessary for timely completion of bachelor’s degrees among students.
students persist to
Where are we now? In the United States, 56.1 percent of students across the
graduation.
nation who enter an institution with the intent of earning a bachelor’s degree
persist to graduation in six years or less. Figure 9.3a shows that the national six-
year graduation rate has remained relatively stable from 1997 to 2007, increasing
slightly from 52.2 percent in 1997 to 56.1 percent in 2007. Figure 9.3b shows
there are vast differences in six-year graduation rates by race/ethnicity. While
Asians and whites have the highest graduation rates at 65.5 percent and 59.4
percent, respectively, the six-year graduation rates for American Indian, African
American and Hispanic students are 38.6 percent, 40.5 percent and 46.8
percent, respectively.

When the data are disaggregated by the six-year graduation rate of bachelor’s
degree–seeking students, the percentages range from 22.4 percent in Alaska
to 68.0 percent in Massachusetts. Figure 9.3c shows that when states are
placed in rank order, states with the highest graduation rate are Massachusetts,
Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Maryland. The states with the lowest
graduation rate are Alaska, Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arizona.

When the data are disaggregated by the six-year graduation rate of bachelor’s
degree–seeking students by Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander
students, the percentages range from 17.9 percent in Alaska to 80.2 percent
in New Hampshire. Figure 9.3d shows that when states are placed in rank order
for Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander students, states with the
highest graduation rate are New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode
Island and Pennsylvania. The states with the lowest graduation rate are Alaska,
South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota and Nevada.

When the data are disaggregated by the six-year graduation rate of bachelor’s
degree–seeking students by American Indian or Alaska Native students,
the percentages range from 10.4 percent in Alaska to 68.3 percent in New
Hampshire. Figure 9.3e shows that when states are placed in rank order for
American Indian and Alaska Native students, states with the highest graduation
rate are New Hampshire, Maryland, Rhode Island, South Carolina and
Massachusetts. The states with the lowest graduation rate are Alaska, Hawaii,
North Dakota, Idaho and Nevada.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 158

When the data are disaggregated by the six-year graduation rate of bachelor’s
degree–seeking students by African American students, the percentages range
from 13.6 percent in South Dakota to 59.9 percent in Massachusetts. Figure
9.3f shows that when states are placed in rank order for African American
students, states with the highest graduation rate are Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine and Wyoming. The states with the lowest
graduation rate are South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Idaho and Nevada.

When the data are disaggregated by the six-year graduation rate of bachelor’s
degree–seeking students by Hispanic students, the percentages range from
22.6 percent in Alaska to 66.6 percent in Massachusetts. Figure 9.3g shows
that when states are placed in rank order for Hispanic students, states with the
highest graduation rate are Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, North
Carolina and Vermont. The states with the lowest graduation rate are Alaska,
South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Nevada.

When the data are disaggregated by the six-year graduation rate of bachelor’s
degree–seeking students by white students, the percentages range from
24.7 percent in Alaska to 73.4 percent in Delaware. Figure 19.3h shows that
when states are placed in rank order for white students, states with the
highest graduation rate are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and
Pennsylvania. The states with the lowest graduation rate are Alaska, Hawaii,
Nevada, Montana and Idaho.
159 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.3c Six-Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking


Students by State Rank, 2007
11.3d
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Massachusetts 68.0%
Delaware 65.7%
Pennsylvania 64.9%
Rhode Island 64.9%
Maryland 64.6%
Vermont 63.7%
Washington 63.2%
Iowa 63.1%
Connecticut 63.0%
Virginia 63.0%
New Hampshire 62.7%
California 62.0%
New Jersey 61.2%
Minnesota 59.6%
Illinois 58.7%
North Carolina 58.5%
New York 58.3%
Wisconsin 58.2%
Maine 57.9%
Wyoming 56.9%
Oregon 56.6%
South Carolina 56.4%
UNITED STATES 56.1%
Missouri 56.0%
Nebraska 56.0% 22
States
Indiana 55.5%
Ohio 55.3% U.S. Average

Michigan 54.7% 28*


Colorado 52.8% States
Florida 52.7%
Kansas 52.6%
Tennessee 50.3%
Texas 50.2%
Mississippi 49.2%
Utah 48.7%
Georgia 48.1%
Kentucky 47.3%
North Dakota 46.9%
Alabama 46.6%
Hawaii 45.9%
South Dakota 45.4%
West Virginia 44.3%
Oklahoma 44.1%
Montana 43.4%
Arkansas 42.9%
Idaho 42.9%
Arizona 42.5%
Louisiana 42.2%
New Mexico 41.8%
Nevada 38.1% AVG
Alaska
District of Columbia
22.4%
NA
56.1
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 160

9.3d Six-Year Graduation Rates for Asian American or Pacific Islander


Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007
11.3f
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
New Hampshire 80.2%
Massachusetts 76.8%
Maryland 75.1%
Rhode Island 74.4%
Pennsylvania 72.9%
Connecticut 72.6%
Vermont 72.1%
Michigan 71.3%
Virginia 70.1%
Maine 69.7%
California 69.0%
Washington 68.3%
North Carolina 68.1%
Ohio 67.7%
New Jersey 67.0%
Missouri 66.5%
Indiana 66.1%
Illinois 65.9%
Delaware 65.7%
UNITED STATES 65.5%
Texas 64.2%
New York 63.9% 19
States
Mississippi 63.0%
Iowa 61.6% U.S. Average
Florida 60.3%
31*
Nebraska 59.6% States
Georgia 59.2%
South Carolina 58.9%
Oregon 58.5%
Tennessee 56.5%
Kentucky 56.4%
Minnesota 54.2%
Colorado 53.9%
Oklahoma 53.9%
Hawaii 52.0%
Wisconsin 51.9%
Alabama 51.6%
Utah 49.6%
Kansas 49.5%
Wyoming 47.6%
West Virginia 47.4%
Arizona 47.1%
Louisiana 45.5%
Arkansas 44.8%
New Mexico 44.4%
Idaho 43.4%
Nevada 42.8%
North Dakota 42.6%
Montana 39.1%
South Dakota 31.3% AVG
Alaska
District of Columbia
17.9%
NA
65.5
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


161 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.3e Six-Year Graduation Rates for American Indian or Alaska Native


Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007
11.3h
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
New Hampshire 68.3%
Maryland 62.5%
Rhode Island 62.5%
South Carolina 61.0%
Massachusetts 60.7%
Connecticut 59.4%
Mississippi 58.8%
Vermont 57.1%
Delaware 56.3%
California 56.0%
Virginia 53.9%
Pennsylvania 53.8%
New York 48.6%
Oregon 48.5%
Florida 48.1%
Arizona 45.9%
New Jersey 45.8%
Ohio 44.3%
Indiana 42.6%
Texas 41.9%
Illinois 41.8%
Michigan 41.8%
Alabama 41.2%
North Carolina 41.1%
Washington 41.0%
Maine 40.9%
UNITED STATES 38.6%
Iowa 36.4%
Colorado 36.2% 26
States
Minnesota 35.4%
Nebraska 35.0% U.S. Average
Georgia 34.4%
24*
Missouri 34.4% States
Oklahoma 33.8%
Arkansas 33.3%
Wyoming 33.3%
Tennessee 32.9%
South Dakota 32.6%
Wisconsin 31.4%
Louisiana 30.9%
Kentucky 30.4%
Kansas 29.5%
Montana 29.0%
West Virginia 26.8%
Utah 26.0%
New Mexico 25.2%
Nevada 21.5%
Idaho 21.1%
North Dakota 17.4%
Hawaii 15.8%
Alaska 10.4% AVG
District of Columbia NA
38.6
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 162

9.3f Six-Year Graduation Rates for African American Bachelor’s


Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007
11.3j
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Massachusetts 59.9%
New Hampshire 58.4%
Rhode Island 57.6%
Maine 56.3%
Wyoming 53.8%
Vermont 51.7%
Connecticut 48.6%
New Jersey 48.1%
Virginia 46.9%
Pennsylvania 46.8%
North Carolina 46.7%
California 46.3%
Washington 46.1%
South Carolina 44.1%
Florida 43.9%
Georgia 42.6%
Maryland 42.2%
Arizona 41.1%
Colorado 40.9%
Oregon 40.9%
Delaware 40.7%
Tennessee 40.6%
UNITED STATES 40.5%
Missouri 39.7%
New York 39.7% 22
States
Mississippi 39.3%
New Mexico 38.4% U.S. Average

Minnesota 37.4% 28*


Kentucky 36.7% States
Texas 36.1%
Indiana 35.8%
Nebraska 35.5%
Alabama 35.0%
Iowa 35.0%
Montana 35.0%
Hawaii 34.7%
Illinois 34.5%
Utah 34.2%
Ohio 32.8%
Wisconsin 32.7%
Michigan 32.0%
Kansas 31.2%
Oklahoma 30.9%
Louisiana 30.5%
Arkansas 30.2%
West Virginia 29.4%
Nevada 29.2%
Idaho 22.4%
North Dakota 21.7%
Alaska 21.3% AVG
South Dakota
District of Columbia
13.6%
NA
40.5
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


163 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

9.3g Six-Year Graduation Rates for Hispanic Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking


Students by State Rank, 2007
11.3l
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Massachusetts 66.6%
New Hampshire 64.4%
Maryland 64.2%
North Carolina 63.6%
Vermont 62.6%
Maine 62.1%
Virginia 58.8%
Pennsylvania 58.1%
Delaware 57.8%
Rhode Island 57.1%
Connecticut 53.3%
California 52.6%
Oregon 51.5%
Minnesota 51.4%
Washington 51.2%
Iowa 49.8%
Indiana 49.2%
Tennessee 49.1%
Wyoming 48.9%
Florida 48.7%
New Jersey 48.6%
Missouri 47.3%
Arizona 47.1%
Ohio 47.0%
UNITED STATES 46.8%
South Carolina 46.3%
Michigan 45.9% 24
States
North Dakota 45.5%
Georgia 45.3% U.S. Average

Illinois 44.9% 26*


Mississippi 44.7% States

Wisconsin 44.3%
Utah 43.1%
New York 42.8%
Nebraska 42.6%
Colorado 42.1%
Louisiana 42.1%
Hawaii 41.7%
Kansas 40.6%
West Virginia 38.9%
Arkansas 38.5%
New Mexico 38.2%
Oklahoma 37.7%
Texas 37.5%
Kentucky 37.3%
Alabama 36.8%
Nevada 36.2%
Idaho 31.4%
Montana 30.7%
South Dakota 26.3% AVG
Alaska
District of Columbia
22.6%
NA
46.8
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Nine 164

9.3h Six-Year Graduation Rates for White Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking


Students by State Rank, 2007
11.3n
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Delaware 73.4%
Maryland 73.2%
Massachusetts 68.3%
Virginia 67.9%
Pennsylvania 66.2%
California 66.1%
New Jersey 65.9%
Iowa 65.3%
Washington 65.1%
Vermont 65.0%
Illinois 64.8%
Rhode Island 64.8%
Connecticut 64.3%
Minnesota 63.4%
New York 63.3%
New Hampshire 63.1%
North Carolina 62.4%
South Carolina 61.0%
Wisconsin 60.2%
UNITED STATES 59.4%
Michigan 58.3%
Wyoming 58.1% 19
States
Missouri 57.8%
U.S. Average
Ohio 57.8%
Oregon 57.8% 31*
Nebraska 57.7% States

Maine 57.6%
Florida 57.5%
Indiana 56.8%
Texas 56.4%
Colorado 55.6%
Kansas 55.5%
Mississippi 55.2%
Alabama 54.1%
Tennessee 52.9%
Arizona 51.6%
Utah 50.6%
Georgia 49.1%
Kentucky 48.9%
North Dakota 48.3%
Oklahoma 47.8%
South Dakota 47.7%
Louisiana 47.2%
New Mexico 46.6%
Arkansas 45.6%
West Virginia 45.5%
Idaho 44.6%
Montana 44.6%
Nevada 40.7%
Hawaii 36.9% AVG
Alaska
District of Columbia
24.7%
NA
59.4
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


165 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


Bachelor’s degree graduation rates are associated with several other important
issues (e.g., preparation, first-generation status, socioeconomic background,
ethnicity, adjustment to college, etc.). This statistic also does not account for
transfers across institutions. Graduation rates are also closely associated with
first-year retention rates because many students abandon their pursuit of
a bachelor’s degree during their first year. It should also be mentioned that
just because a student does not graduate with a bachelor’s degree in six years
does not mean that these students did not or will not graduate. It only means
that these students did not graduate in the six-year time frame (time and a half)
within which they were expected to graduate. Many students take a longer
time to graduate from institutions, including students who begin as full-time
students but spend most of their undergraduate experience attending part time,
and students who must work while attending college. These students tend
to take longer to graduate, thus making overall six-year graduation rates
much lower.

Education is the most effective intervention available for improving the social
and economic future of America. Students who earn a bachelor’s degree
earn 61.0 percent more during their lifetime than students who only have a
high school diploma. And given the changing nature of our economy, a high
school education is not enough. Addressing socioeconomic, racial and ethnic
inequalities in higher education will require persistent and meaningful efforts
by states to provide postsecondary access and opportunity to the steadily
growing numbers of undereducated and underrepresented minorities. Beyond
the moral imperative to achieve equity among populations of different racial
and ethnic backgrounds, there are economic reasons for doing so. Many states
in the U.S. face rapidly changing demographics — with the least-educated
populations growing at the fastest rates.53

53. Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Knocking at the College Door: Projections of High
School Graduates by State and Race/Ethnicity 1992–2022, March 2008.
Ten
Provide postsecondary
opportunities as an
essential element
of adult education
programs
WE RECOMMEND a renewed commitment to adult
education opportunities, one that supplements existing
basic skills training and General Educational Development
opportunities with a new “honors GED,” and better
coordination of federal and state efforts to provide adult
education, veterans benefits, outreach programs and
student aid.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 168

The nation is in need of highly skilled workers; however, 62.8 percent of the
U.S. adult population does not have a postsecondary degree. This percentage
is detrimental to U.S. competitiveness as the nation continues to slip further
behind other countries in the percentage of the population with postsecondary
credentials.54

The commission asserts that there is a plethora of existing programs in adult


literacy and adult basic education; however, many are underfunded and operate
in isolation from each other, the K–12 education system, and higher education.
These existing adult education programs need better support and coordination.
Adult education programs need to supplement current programs with a new
emphasis on postsecondary opportunities for adults who do not have a high
school diploma or its equivalent or a postsecondary degree. In order to advance
adult education programs, states must renew their commitment to adult literacy
and adult basic education programs. Also, the federal government must provide
more funding to support adult education programs, and this is a goal of the
Obama administration.

In examining the proposed recommendations, four indicators


are presented:

• Educational attainment for adults ages 25 to 64;


• GEDs awarded to adults with no high school diploma;
• Enrollment in state-administered adult education programs; and
• Enrollment of nontraditional-age adults in postsecondary education.

General Findings for This


Recommendation
• As of 2008, 4.8 percent of adults ages 18 to 24 across the nation were
awarded GEDs.
• As of 2008, 1.0 percent of adults ages 25 to 49 across the nation were
awarded GEDs.
• As of 2005, 101.7 per 1,000 individuals ages 18 to 64 with less than a high
school diploma enrolled in state-administered (ABE) programs.
• As of 2005, 19.1 percent of adults ages 25 to 39 across the nation were
enrolled in a postsecondary education program.
• As of 2005, 4.7 percent of adults ages 40 to 64 across the nation were
enrolled in a postsecondary education program.

54. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Education at a Glance: 2009.
169 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

58.9 % Educational Attainment for


Adults Ages 25 to 64
As of 2008, 12.1a
58.9 percent of
10.1a
adults ages 25 to 64
National Educational Attainment of Adults Ages 25–64, 2008
across the nation
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010
earned less than an
100
associate degree.
90

80

70

60

50

40 41.1%

30 29.9%
20 17.7%
10 11.3%

Associate Degree Less Than a Only a High Some College


or Higher High School Diploma School Diploma but No Degree
but No College

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
describes the percentage of adults ages 25 to 64 with less than an associate
degree. This measure helps states to learn the specific populations most in
need, in order to raise educational attainment.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? States vary
significantly in the proportion of work-age adults ages 25 to 64 who have earned
at least an associate degree. In order to raise educational attainment, states
will require different policies and approaches, depending on which specific
population they need to target.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 170

Where are we now? In the United States today, 58.9 percent of adults ages
25 to 64 have less than an associate degree. Figure 10.1a shows that of adults
ages 25 to 64, 11.3 percent have less than a high school diploma, 29.9 percent
have only a high school diploma but no college, and 17.7 percent have some
college but no degree.

When the data are disaggregated by adults ages 25 to 64 with less than a high
school diploma, the percentages range from 5.3 percent in North Dakota to
18.7 percent in California and Texas. Figure 10.1b shows that when states are
placed in rank order, the states with the lowest percentage of adults are North
Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska and Vermont. The states
with the highest percentage of adults are California, Texas, Mississippi, Nevada,
Louisiana and Arizona.

When the data are disaggregated by adults ages 25 to 64 with only a high
school diploma, the percentages range from 18.7 percent in the District of
Columbia to 40.7 percent in West Virginia. Figure 10.1c shows that when states
are placed in rank order, the states with the lowest percentage of adults are the
District of Columbia, California, Colorado, Washington and Utah. The states with
the highest percentage of adults are West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Arkansas,
Louisiana and Kentucky.

When the data are disaggregated by adults ages 25 to 64 with some college
but no degree, the percentages range from 15.1 percent in the District of
Columbia to 30.5 percent in Alaska. Figure 10.1d shows that when states are
placed in rank order, the states with the lowest percentage of adults are the
District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania.
The states with the highest percentage of adults are Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho,
Utah and Oregon.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? Although


there are statistics that will provide information about the educational
attainment for adults, ages 25 to 64 by gender, race/ethnicity, income, etc;
there are large variations in the population across states. This measure is best
explored at the state level.
171 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

10.1b Adults Ages 25–64 with Less Than a High School Diploma
by State Rank, 2008
12.1c Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey & Current Population Survey, 2010
Note: National Numbers Based on Current Population Survey, State Numbers Based on American Community Survey

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
North Dakota 5.3%
Minnesota 6.0%
South Dakota 6.3%
Wyoming 6.4%
Alaska 6.7%
Vermont 6.7%
Hawaii 6.8%
Montana 6.9%
New Hampshire 7.0%
Iowa 7.0%
Maine 7.2%
Nebraska 7.9%
Wisconsin 8.0%
Connecticut 8.7%
Kansas 8.7%
Utah 8.8%
Massachusetts 8.9%
Pennsylvania 9.1%
Washington 9.2%
Michigan 9.4%
Ohio 9.5%
Maryland 9.8%
New Jersey 9.9%
Oregon 10.2%
Colorado 10.2%
Delaware 10.6%
Missouri 10.7%
Idaho 10.9%
UNITED STATES 11.3%
Virginia 11.3%
Indiana 11.4%
Illinois 11.8%
District of Columbia 12.0%
Oklahoma 12.3%
Florida 12.4%
Rhode Island 12.4%
New York 13.2% 28
States
Tennessee 13.5%
U.S. Average
North Carolina 13.6%
South Carolina 13.7% 23
West Virginia 13.8% States

Georgia 13.8%
Kentucky 14.6%
Alabama 14.7%
Arkansas 14.7%
New Mexico 15.2%
Arizona 15.6%
Louisiana 15.6%
Nevada 15.9%
Mississippi 16.7%
Texas 18.7%
California 18.7%

AVG

11.3
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 172

10.1c Adults Ages 25–64 with Only a High School Diploma but No College
by State Rank, 2008
12.1e Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey & Current Population Survey, 2010
Note: National Numbers Based on Current Population Survey, State Numbers Based on American Community Survey

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
District of Columbia 18.7%
California 20.0%
Colorado 21.3%
Washington 22.4%
Utah 23.4%
Arizona 23.8%
Oregon 24.0%
Virginia 24.1%
Massachusetts 24.4%
Texas 24.9%
Minnesota 25.0%
Maryland 25.1%
Illinois 25.2%
North Dakota 25.3%
Kansas 25.3%
New York 25.7%
New Mexico 25.8%
Rhode Island 26.1%
Connecticut 26.2%
Nebraska 26.2%
Idaho 26.3%
Hawaii 26.3%
Alaska 26.4%
North Carolina 26.6%
Nevada 27.3%
New Jersey 27.3% 33
States
New Hampshire 27.3%
Georgia 28.7% U.S. Average

Florida 29.0%
18
Montana 29.1% States
Michigan 29.3%
Wyoming 29.4%
Mississippi 29.8%
UNITED STATES 29.9%
Delaware 29.9%
Iowa 30.3%
Missouri 30.4%
South Dakota 30.4%
South Carolina 30.9%
Oklahoma 31.0%
Alabama 31.0%
Wisconsin 31.2%
Vermont 32.1%
Tennessee 32.5%
Indiana 33.4%
Ohio 33.7%
Maine 34.4%
Kentucky 34.4%
Louisiana 34.9%
Arkansas 35.2%
Pennsylvania 35.3%
West Virginia 40.7%
AVG

29.9
%
173 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

10.1d Adults Ages 25–64 with Some College but No Degree


by State Rank, 2008
12.1g Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey & Current Population Survey, 2010
Note: National Numbers Based on Current Population Survey, State Numbers Based on American Community Survey

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
District of Columbia 15.1%
Massachusetts 17.0%
New York 17.3%
Vermont 17.5%
UNITED STATES 17.7%
Pennsylvania 17.8%
New Jersey 18.2%
Connecticut 18.5%
New Hampshire 19.7%
West Virginia 19.9%
Rhode Island 20.1%
South Carolina 21.0%
Virginia 21.2%
Maryland 21.2%
Georgia 21.3%
Maine 21.6%
Kentucky 21.8%
Florida 21.8%
Indiana 21.8%
Ohio 22.0%
Illinois 22.2%
Delaware 22.4%
Louisiana 22.6% 4
States
California 22.7%
Alabama 22.7% U.S. Average

Tennessee 22.8% 47
Wisconsin 22.8% States

North Carolina 22.8%


Colorado 23.1%
Texas 23.2%
Arkansas 23.5%
South Dakota 23.9%
Minnesota 23.9%
Iowa 23.9%
Missouri 24.0%
Mississippi 24.3%
North Dakota 24.3%
Hawaii 24.6%
Nebraska 25.4%
Oklahoma 25.4%
Kansas 25.4%
New Mexico 25.6%
Michigan 25.6%
Montana 26.3%
Arizona 26.3%
Washington 26.4%
Nevada 26.7%
Oregon 27.3%
Utah 27.6%
Idaho 27.9%
Wyoming 28.2%
Alaska 30.5%
AVG

17.7
%
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 174

4.8 % Percentage of Adults with


No High School Diploma
As of 2008, Who Attained a GED
4.8 percent of
adults ages 18 to 24
across the nation 10.2a
earned GEDs. 12.2a National Percentage of GEDs Earned by Age, 2008
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2009

1.0
100

% 90

80

70

As of 2008, 60

1.0 percent of 50

adults ages 25 to 49 40

across the nation 30

earned GEDs. 20

10
4.8%
0 1.0%

18- to 24- 25- to 49-


Year-Olds Year-Olds

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measures
the percentage of adults ages 18 to 49 who earned a GED, and did not have a
high school diploma or any degree beyond a high school diploma. This measure
indicates whether a higher percentage of GEDs are earned by adults annually,
which increases the number of qualified workers able to fulfill the necessary
positions for the 2025 workforce.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? A high school
diploma seems to have less value as we move toward a more advanced,
technological society. However, many of the jobs created today require at least
a high school diploma or GED. It is important for states to raise awareness
of the importance of obtaining a high school diploma or GED, and continuing
education beyond high school.

Where are we now? In the United States in 2008, 4.8 percent of adults ages
18 to 24 across the nation earned GEDs, and 1.0 percent of adults ages 25 to 49
across the nation earned GEDs, as shown in Figure 10.2a.
175 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When the data are disaggregated by the number of GEDs earned by 18- to
24-year-olds, the percentages range from 2.6 percent in California to 10.1
percent in Wyoming. Figure 10.2b shows that when states are placed in rank
order, states with the largest percentage of GEDs earned are Wyoming, Maine,
Idaho, Virginia and West Virginia. The states with the smallest percentage of
GEDs earned are California, Delaware, Texas, Louisiana and Maryland.

When the data are disaggregated by the number of GEDs earned by 25- to
49-year-olds, the percentages range from 0.5 percent in California to 2.8 percent
in Wyoming. Figure 10.2c shows that when states are placed in rank order,
states with the largest percentage of GEDs earned are Wyoming, North Dakota,
Montana, Maine and Alaska. The states with the smallest percentage of GEDs
earned are California, Texas, Delaware, Louisiana, Rhode Island and Maryland.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? The data
obtained only examines two age groups awarded GEDs: 18- to 24-year-olds and
25- to 49-year-olds. Many people in the workforce are obtaining postsecondary
education beyond the age of 49, because people over 50 are enrolled in
colleges and universities to change their field of work. So it is pertinent that
adults 50 years old and older receiving GEDs also are examined.

It is also important to examine how many people do not have a high school
diploma and how states have assisted in funding and supporting GED programs.
States should address issues of affordability, accessibility and retention of
individuals with no high school diploma in the communities.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 176

10.2b Percentage of Adults 18- to 24-Years-Old with No High School


12.2c Diploma Who Attained a GED by State Rank, 2008
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Wyoming 10.1%
Maine 9.5%
Idaho 7.8%
Virginia 7.5%
West Virginia 7.2%
New Hampshire 7.0%
Kentucky 6.9%
Utah 6.9%
Tennessee 6.8%
Oregon 6.7%
Florida 6.6%
Vermont 6.4%
Montana 6.4%
Rhode Island 6.3%
Alaska 6.2%
North Dakota 6.1%
Ohio 6.1%
New York 6.0%
Colorado 6.0%
Mississippi 5.8%
Washington 5.8%
Nebraska 5.8%
Wisconsin 5.8%
Minnesota 5.8%
Massachusetts 5.6%
Iowa 5.6%
Hawaii 5.3%
Pennsylvania 5.3%
South Dakota 5.3%
Georgia 5.2%
Indiana 5.2%
Arkansas 4.8%
Missouri 4.8%
UNITED STATES 4.8%
New Mexico 4.7%
Connecticut 4.7% 33
States
Alabama 4.6%
U.S. Average
Arizona 4.5%
Nevada 4.5% 17*
Oklahoma 4.3% States

New Jersey 4.2%


Illinois 4.2%
Michigan 4.2%
South Carolina 4.1%
North Carolina 4.0%
Kansas 3.7%
Maryland 3.5%
Louisiana 3.1%
Texas 3.1%
Delaware 2.7%
California 2.6%
District of Columbia NA

AVG

4.8
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


177 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

10.2c Percentage of Adults 25- to 49-Years-Old with No High


12.2e School Diploma Who Attained a GED by State Rank, 2008
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2009

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Wyoming 2.8%
North Dakota 2.5%
Montana 2.3%
Maine 2.1%
Alaska 2.0%
Ohio 2.0%
South Dakota 1.8%
Minnesota 1.7%
Wisconsin 1.7%
Washington 1.5%
Idaho 1.5%
Kentucky 1.5%
Iowa 1.5%
Virginia 1.5%
Oregon 1.5%
Tennessee 1.4%
Arkansas 1.4%
Oklahoma 1.3%
Utah 1.3%
Missouri 1.3%
Colorado 1.3%
New Hampshire 1.3%
Mississippi 1.3%
Indiana 1.3%
West Virginia 1.3%
Nebraska 1.2%
Arizona 1.2%
Pennsylvania 1.1%
Georgia 1.1%
New York 1.1%
Massachusetts 1.1%
New Jersey 1.1%
North Carolina 1.0%
New Mexico 1.0%
Hawaii 1.0%
Connecticut 1.0%
Florida 1.0%
UNITED STATES 1.0%
Michigan 1.0%
Alabama 1.0% 37
States
Illinois 0.9%
Kansas 0.9% U.S. Average

South Carolina 0.9% 13*


Vermont 0.8% States

Nevada 0.8%
Maryland 0.8%
Rhode Island 0.7%
Louisiana 0.7%
Delaware 0.7%
Texas 0.6%
California 0.5%
District of Columbia NA

AVG

1.0
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 178

101.7 Enrollment in
State-Administered
As of 2005, Adult Education Programs
approximately What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
100 of every 1,000 describes the enrollment in state-administered adult education programs per
adults ages 18 to 1,000 adults ages 18 to 64 with less than a high school diploma. This measure
64 with less than a is helpful to learn about opportunities that have been provided to people ages
18 and over who are not formally enrolled in school and have educational skills
high school diploma
below the high school completion level.
are enrolled in
state-administered What are the policy issues associated with this measure? Adult Basic
Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs are offered primarily through public school districts,
Education (ABE) community colleges, technical colleges and private nonprofit organizations
throughout the country. The primary target group for ABE are adults who are
programs across the in need of the literacy skills required for employment, self-sufficiency or the
United States. completion of secondary education. Adult education and literacy programs are
often funded through federal grants to the states, yet some states also provide
funding for adult education programs. The amount each state receives from the
federal government is based on a formula established by Congress.55 States
distribute this appropriated money to local entities that provide adult education
and literacy services.56

Where are we now? As of 2005, 101.7 per 1,000 adults ages 18 to 64 with
less than a high school diploma were enrolled in state-administered (ABE)
programs across the United States. Figure 10.3a shows the enrollment in state
administered adult education programs per 1,000 U.S. residents with less than
a high school diploma by age. The data reveal that the enrollment rate is higher
for adults ages 18 to 24 and lower for adults ages 45 and older.

When the data are disaggregated by state, the enrollment ranges from 38.0
in Nevada to 240.8 in Florida. Figure 10.3b shows that when states are placed
in rank order, states with the highest enrollment are Florida, Utah, Minnesota,
South Carolina and Connecticut. The states with the lowest enrollment are
Nevada, Alabama, Texas, Colorado and Arizona.

55. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (2010). Retrieved June 17, 2010 from
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/index.html
56. Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). 2008. Adult learning in focus: National and state-by-state
data report, p.40.
179 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind?


State-administered ABE programs are offered to people ages 18 and over
who are not formally enrolled in school and do not have a high school diploma.
According to the 2005 NCES data, most of the enrollees were between 18 to
24 years old. Enrollment varies widely across states.57

10.3a Enrollment in State-Administered Adult Education Programs


per 1,000 U.S. Residents with Less Than a High School Diploma
12.3a by Age Group, 2005
Data Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), 2009

300
278
250

200

150

107
100

50
22
0

Ages Ages Ages 45


18–24 25–44 and Older

57. Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). 2008. Adult learning in focus: National and state-by-state
data report, p.40.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 180

10.3b Enrollment in State-Administered ABE Programs per 1,000 Adults


12.3c Ages 18–64 with Less Than a High School Diploma by State Rank, 2005
Data Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), 2009

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Florida 240.8
Utah 191.3
Minnesota 189.9
South Carolina 161.6
Connecticut 152.9
California 142.7
Arkansas 141.1
North Carolina 133.2
New Mexico 124.1
Illinois 121.5
Hawaii 120.0
Maine 112.6
Washington 111.9
Georgia 105.9
Nebraska 102.2
UNITED STATES 101.7
New York 98.3
Alaska 95.4 15
States
Delaware 92.1
U.S. Average
Wyoming 89.1
Indiana 86.6 35*
Tennessee 84.7 States

Missouri 82.2
Wisconsin 82.1
South Dakota 81.7
New Hampshire 79.3
Rhode Island 79.0
Mississippi 78.2
Oregon 78.1
North Dakota 77.6
Iowa 74.9
Pennsylvania 71.5
Maryland 71.1
Montana 70.2
Kentucky 70.0
Idaho 69.0
New Jersey 68.6
Oklahoma 67.2
Louisiana 63.2
Ohio 62.4
Vermont 61.2
West Virginia 57.6
Kansas 55.4
Massachusetts 53.7
Michigan 52.1
Virginia 50.8
Arizona 47.1
Colorado 44.9
Texas 43.7 AVG
Alabama 42.2 101.7
Nevada 38.0
District of Columbia NA

* Indicator data not available for all states.


181 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

19.1 % Enrollment of Nontraditional-


Age Students in Postsecondary
As of 2005, 19.1 Education
percent of adults
ages 25 to 39
across the nation
10.4a
are enrolled in a
National Percentage of Adults with Only a High School Diploma
postsecondary
12.4a Enrolled in Postsecondary Education, 2005
education program. Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2005

100

4.7%
90

80

70

60
As of 2005, 4.7 50
percent of adults 40
ages 40 to 64 30
across the nation 20 19.1%
are enrolled in a 10
4.7%
postsecondary 0
education program. 25- to 39- 40- to 64-
Year-Olds Year-Olds

What is this measure, and why is this measure important? This measure
examines the percentage of nontraditional students 25 to 64 years old enrolled
in postsecondary education programs. This measure provides the percentage
of nontraditional adults seeking postsecondary education beyond high school
education or GED.

What are the policy issues associated with this measure? The state system
of education provides great opportunities to U.S. citizens, both in secondary
and postsecondary education. The opportunities for obtaining an education are
valuable and provide the United States with a market of educated workers.
Functional literacy skills and the availability of opportunities for older adults to
train and retrain are imperative for upward mobility and to meet the needs of
a changing economy.58

58. The National Center of Higher Education Management Systems, 2009,


http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?submeasure=327&year=2005&level=&mode=policy&state=0)
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 182

Where are we now? As of 2005, 19.1 percent of adults ages 25 to 39 across


the nation were enrolled in a postsecondary education program, and 4.7 percent
of adults ages 40 to 64 across the nation were enrolled in a postsecondary
education program as shown in Figure 10.4a. A larger percentage of 25- to
39-year-olds are enrolled in postsecondary education than are 40- to 64-year-olds.

When the data are disaggregated by state for adults ages 25 to 39 across the
nation that are enrolled in a postsecondary education program, the percentages
range from 11.1 percent in New Hampshire to 44.3 percent in Arizona. Figure
10.4b shows that when states are placed in rank order, the states with the
highest enrollment are Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Iowa and North Dakota. The
states with the lowest enrollment are New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Louisiana,
Tennessee and South Carolina.

When the data are disaggregated by state for adults ages 40 to 64 across the
nation that are enrolled in a postsecondary education program, the percentages
range from 1.8 percent in Louisiana to 15.8 percent in Arizona. Figure 10.4c
shows that when states are placed in rank order, the states with the highest
enrollment are Arizona, California, New Mexico, Alaska and Washington. The
states with the lowest enrollment are Louisiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,
Tennessee and South Carolina.

When interpreting this measure, what should be kept in mind? The data
provide two age groups enrolled in postsecondary education institutions:
25- to 39-year-olds and 40- to 64-year-olds. The individuals enrolled in
postsecondary education institutions are those with just a high school diploma.
183 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

10.4b Percentage of 25- to 39-Year-Olds with Only a High School Diploma


Enrolled in Postsecondary Education by State Rank, 2005
12.4c
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2005

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Arizona 44.3%
Utah 31.7%
New Mexico 29.5%
Iowa 26.8%
North Dakota 26.4%
California 25.7%
Nebraska 24.8%
Illinois 24.2%
Colorado 24.2%
Kansas 23.9%
Washington 22.5%
Minnesota 22.1%
Alaska 21.8%
Oregon 21.3%
South Dakota 20.4%
Michigan 20.3%
Maryland 19.8%
Idaho 19.6%
Wyoming 19.3%
UNITED STATES 19.1%
North Carolina 18.8%
Oklahoma 18.8% 19
Wisconsin 18.4% States

Montana 18.3% U.S. Average


Missouri 18.2%
Alabama 18.1%
31*
States
Texas 18.0%
Florida 17.7%
Rhode Island 17.6%
Indiana 16.8%
Virginia 16.7%
Kentucky 16.6%
Hawaii 16.4%
Mississippi 16.4%
New York 16.2%
Nevada 15.8%
Ohio 15.5%
Massachusetts 14.9%
Arkansas 14.8%
Georgia 14.3%
Vermont 14.2%
Delaware 14.2%
New Jersey 14.2%
Maine 13.5%
Connecticut 12.9%
West Virginia 12.9%
South Carolina 12.7%
Tennessee 12.7%
Louisiana 12.4%
Pennsylvania 11.5%
New Hampshire 11.1%
District of Columbia NA

AVG

19.1
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


completionagenda.collegeboard.org Recommendation Ten 184

10.4c Percentage of 40- to 64-Year-Olds with Only a High School Diploma


12.4e Enrolled in Postsecondary Education by State Rank, 2005
Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2005

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Arizona 15.8%
California 10.6%
New Mexico 9.9%
Alaska 7.9%
Washington 7.4%
Utah 7.3%
Colorado 7.1%
Illinois 6.7%
Wyoming 6.3%
Oregon 5.4%
Nebraska 5.2%
Maryland 5.2%
Kansas 4.9%
North Carolina 4.8%
Virginia 4.8%
Nevada 4.8%
UNITED STATES 4.7%
Idaho 4.4%
Wisconsin 4.4% 16
States
Iowa 4.4%
Michigan 4.3% U.S. Average

North Dakota 4.2% 34*


Delaware 4.1% States

Minnesota 4.1%
Texas 4.0%
Hawaii 4.0%
Florida 3.9%
Rhode Island 3.9%
Oklahoma 3.9%
Missouri 3.9%
Kentucky 3.8%
Massachusetts 3.8%
Maine 3.6%
New Jersey 3.5%
Connecticut 3.4%
Georgia 3.3%
Montana 3.3%
New York 3.3%
Vermont 3.3%
New Hampshire 3.2%
Indiana 3.2%
Alabama 3.1%
South Dakota 3.0%
Ohio 3.0%
Arkansas 3.0%
Mississippi 2.9%
South Carolina 2.8%
Tennessee 2.5%
West Virginia 2.3%
Pennsylvania 2.3%
Louisiana 1.8%
District of Columbia NA

AVG

4.7
%

* Indicator data not available for all states.


Appendix
Data Book
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 186

Overall Goal of the Commission


INDICATOR: U.S. Educational Attainment Among 25- to 34-Year-Olds

Calculation
Percentage of adults between 25 and 34 years old in the United States who
have attained at least an associate degree.

Sources/Links
U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010.
U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2010.
http://factfinder.census.gov

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are reported for 2000–2008, and data are gathered and produced annually.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/educ-attn.html

Recommendation One:
Provide a Program of Voluntary
Preschool Education, Universally
Available to Children from
Low-Income Families
INDICATOR: Percentage of 3- to 5-Year-Olds Enrolled in Preschool Programs

Calculation
Percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs.

Sources/Links
National Center for Education Statistics, 2009.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available and reported for 1991 to most recent available
(2005)—irregularly.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2007/section1/table.asp?tableID=662

INDICATOR: Percentage of 3- to 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in State-Funded


Pre-K Programs

Calculation
Numerator: Number enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs
Denominator: Number of 3- to 4-year-olds as reported in The Yearbook from U.S.
Census Population Estimates, 2007.
187 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Sources/Links
The State Preschool Yearbook, National Institute for Early Education Research,
Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2009.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available and reported for 2001 to most recent available
(2008)—annually.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://nieer.org/yearbook2008/

INDICATOR: Percentage of 3- to 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start by State

Calculation
Numerator: Number enrolled in federal Head Start programs by state
Denominator: Number of 3- to 4-year-olds as reported in The Yearbook from
the US Census Population Estimates, 2007.

Sources/Links
The State Preschool Yearbook, National Institute for Early Education Research,
Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2009.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available and reported for 2001 to most recent available (2008)—annually.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://nieer.org/yearbook2008/states

Recommendation Two:
Improve Middle and High School
Counseling
INDICATOR: Student-to-Counselor Ratio

Calculation
Ratio of students to counselors in schools.
Numerator: Number of students by state
Denominator: Number of guidance counselors by state

Sources/Links
Based on data from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for
Education Statistics. Produced by the American Counseling Association,
Office of Public Policy and Legislation, 2007–2008.
http://www.counseling.org/PublicPolicy/
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 188

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 2007–2008.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.counseling.org/PublicPolicy

INDICATOR: Statewide Comprehensive School Counseling Programs

Calculation
Number of states that have implemented statewide school counseling
programs.

Sources/Links
Based on data from the American School Counselor Association, 2008.
http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?pl=133&sl=280&contentid=280

Data Availability/Discussion
Website last updated in 2008.

Data Sources/Related Links


These data represent states that have designed comprehensive school
counseling programs that follow the national model suggested by the American
School Counselor Association.

INDICATOR: Professional Development for Secondary


School College Counselors

Calculation
Percentage reported by NACAC Admission Trends Survey 2006–2008
respondents.

Source/Links
Clinedist, M. & Hawkins, D. (2007–2009). State of College Admission. National
Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC); Washington, DC.
http://www.nacacnet.org/PublicationsResources/Marketplace/research/Pages/
StateofCollegeAdmission.aspx

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for Fall 2006 to most recent available (2008) and can be
gathered annually. Data are available for both public and private schools.

INDICATOR: Percentage of Counselors’ Time Spent on Tasks

Calculation
Mean percentage reported by NACAC Admission Trends Survey 2006–2008
respondents.

Source/Links
Clinedist, M. & Hawkins, D. (2007–2009). State of College Admission. National
Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC); Washington, DC.
http://www.nacacnet.org/PublicationsResources/Marketplace/research/Pages/
StateofCollegeAdmission.aspx

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for Fall 2006 to most recent available (2008) and can be
gathered annually. Data are available for both public and private schools.
189 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Recommendation Three:
Implement the Best Research-Based
Dropout Prevention Programs
INDICATOR: Graduation Rate for Public High School Students

Calculation
Average Freshman Graduation Rate.

Sources/Links
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics,
Common Core of Data (CCD), “NCES Common Core of Data State Dropout and
Completion Data File,” 2009.

Data Availability/Discussion
The averaged freshman graduation rate is the number of graduates divided by
the estimated count of freshmen four years earlier. The estimated averaged
freshman enrollment count is the sum of the number of 8th-graders five years
earlier, the number of 9th-graders four years earlier (when current-year seniors
were freshmen), and the number of 10th-graders three years earlier, divided by
3. Enrollment counts include a proportional distribution of students not enrolled
in a specific grade. Graduates include only those who earned regular diplomas
or diplomas for advanced academic achievement (e.g., honors diploma) as
defined by the state or jurisdiction. Totals for reporting states include any of the
50 states and the District of Columbia that reported data for a given year.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009064.pdf

INDICATOR: National Status Dropout Rate (Non-Institutional)

Calculation
Numerator: The number of individuals ages 16 to 24 who, as of October 2007,
had not completed high school and were not currently enrolled.
Denominator: The total number of 16- to 24-year-olds in October 2007.

Sources/Links
KewalRamani, A., & Chapman, C. (2007). Dropout and completion rates in
the United States: 2007. Compendium Report. National Center for Education
Statistics, Table A-20-2.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009064.pdf

Data Availability/Discussion
Calculated data are available and reported for 1972 to 2007 available—annually.
The calculation does not account for transfers across institutions.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 190

Data Sources/Related Links


Current Population Survey data download
http://www.bls.census.gov/ferretftp.htm

INDICATOR: National Status Dropout Rate (Institutional)

Calculation
Numerator: The number of 16- through 24-year-olds surveyed by the 2007
ACS (American Community Survey) who are not enrolled in high school and
who have not earned a high school credential (either a diploma or equivalency
credential, such as a General Educational Development [GED] certificate.
Denominator: The total number of 16- through 24-year-olds as of 2007.

Sources/Links
Planty, M., Hussar, W., Snyder, T., Kena, G., KewalRamani, A., Kemp, J., Blanco,
K., & Dinkes, R. (2009). The Condition of Education 2009. U.S. Department of
Education, NCES 2009-081, Table A-20-1.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009081.pdf

Data Availability/Discussion
Calculated data are only available for 2007. The 2007 ACS includes
institutionalized persons, incarcerated persons and active duty military
personnel living in barracks in the United States. National-level data from the
ACS are available starting with the year 2000. (NCES, 2009, p.276.)

Data Sources/Related Links


American Community Survey data download
http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/

INDICATOR: National Event Dropout Rate

Calculation
Numerator: The number of individuals ages 15 to 24 surveyed in October
(e.g., 2007) who were enrolled in grades 10 to 12 in October (e.g., 2006), who
were not enrolled in high school in October (e.g.,2007), and who also did not
complete high school (that is, had not received a high school diploma or an
alternative credential such as an equivalency certificate) between, for example,
October 2006 and October 2007.
Denominator: The sum of the dropouts (that is, the numerator) and all individuals
ages 15 to 24 who were attending grades 10 to 12 in October (e.g., 2006), who
were still enrolled in October (e.g., 2007), or who graduated or completed high
school between, for example, October 2006 and October 2007.
191 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

State Event Dropout Rate


Numerator: All individuals who
• Were enrolled in school at some time during the previous school year;
• Were not enrolled at the beginning of the current school year;
• Had not graduated from high school or completed a state- or district-
approved education program; and
• Did not meet any of the following exclusionary conditions: transferred to
another public school district, private school, or state- or district-approved
education program; temporary absence due to suspension or school-
approved education program; or death.
Denominator: The current October 1 membership count for the state, for the
grades for which the dropout rate is being calculated. For example, the dropout
rate for grades 9 to12 would use a denominator that equals the October 1
enrollment count for grades 9 to 12.59

Sources/Links
Cataldi, E. F. , Laird, J., KewelRamani, A., and Chapman, C. (2009). High school
dropout and completion rates in the United States: 2007. Compendium Report.
National Center for Education Statistics.
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009064.pdf

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available and reported for 1972 to 2007 available—annually. The
measure provides information about the rate at which U.S. high school
students are leaving school without a successful outcome. It is not well suited
for studying how many people in the country lack a high school credential
irrespective of whether they attended U.S. high schools, nor does it provide a
picture of the dropout problem more generally because it only measures how
many students dropped out in a single year, and students may reenter the
school system after that time (NCES, 2007, p.4).

Data Sources/Related Links


Current Population Survey data download.
http://www.bls.census.gov/ferretftp.htm
The Common Core of Data (CCD), administered by the national Center for
Education Statistics (NCES).
http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/pub_dropouts.asp

59. Ungraded students are prorated across grades in the denominator proportional to known graded enrollment
rates, and ungraded dropouts are included in the numerator.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 192

Recommendation Four:
Align the K–12 Education System
with International Standards and
College Admission Expectations
INDICATOR: Percentage of Public High Schools Offering AP or IB Courses
in the Four Core Subject Areas

Calculation
Numerator: Number of public high schools in the United States that offer
Advanced Placement Program courses as reported by the College Board
or IB courses as reported by International Baccalaureate in the four core
subject areas.
Denominator: Number of public high schools in the United States, as
maintained by the College Board.

Sources/Links
The College Board, 2010.
International Baccalaureate, 2010.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are reported for 2008, and data are gathered and produced annually. Data
was computed using lists of International Baccalaureate Schools available
at www.ibo.org. Advanced Placement Program® Schools were computed
using available data from the College Board. The number of public schools
in the United States were computed using data from the National Center for
Education Statistics, Common Core Data, and the College Board.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.collegeboard.com/ap
http://www.ibo.org/
http://www.nces.ed.gov

INDICATOR: Percentage of States with Alignment Between K–12 and


Higher Education Standards

Calculation
Number of states with alignment between K–12 and higher education divided
by the total number of states.
Percent of States Committed to Adopting the National Common Core
Standards.
Calculation: Number of states who joined the Common Core Standards Initiative
divided by the total number of states.
193 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Sources/Links
Closing the Expectations Gap 2009: An Annual 50-State Progress Report on the
Alignment of High School Policies with the Demands of College and Careers,
Achieve Inc, 2009.
http://www.achieve.org/closingtheexpectationsgap2009
9/1/2009 Press Release Fifty-One States and Territories Join Common Core
Standards Initiative.
http://www.corestandards.org/CoreStandardsNews.htm

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are reported for 2006–2009, and data are gathered and produced annually
by Achieve.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.achieve.org/
http://www.ccsso.org/
http://www.nga.org/

INDICATOR: Percentage of Students in Remedial Classes in College

Calculation
Percentage of freshmen students who are required to participate in remedial
classes in reading, writing or mathematics when they enter a college or
university.

Sources/Links
National Center for Education Statistics. Postsecondary Education Quick
Information System (PEQIS), Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of
Education, 1996.
http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/peqis/publications/97584/
National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey,
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 2003.
http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/peqis/publications/2004010/
National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010.
http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.be806d93bb5ee77eee28aca950101
0a0/?vgnextoid=1716f7e861ed3210VgnVCM1000005e00100aRCRD&vgnextchan
nel=759b8f2005361010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD&vgnextfmt=print
http://www.corestandards.org/

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are reported for 1995 and 2000. Data are not collected and produced
annually by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/peqis/
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 194

Recommendation Five:
Improve Teacher Quality and Focus
on Recruitment and Retention
INDICATOR: State Encouragement and Support for Teacher
Professional Development

Calculation
The number and percentage of states with policies in the following five areas:
• State has formal professional development standards.
• State finances professional development for all districts.
• State requires districts/schools to set aside time for professional
development.
• State requires districts to align professional development with local priorities
and goals.
• State provides incentives for teachers to earn National Board Certification.

Sources/Links
National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms, 2007-08.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/tab3_8.asp

Data Availability/Discussion
Data collected annually since 1997.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


Date is reprocessed from Schools and Staffing Survey by Ed Week’s Quality
Counts report.
http://www.edweek.org/qc/2009/

INDICATOR: Percentage of Public School Teachers in Grades 9 Through


12 by Field

Calculation
Numerator: Number of teachers in specific field.
Denominator: Total number of teachers in public school in grades 9 through 12.

Source/Links
U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics, Schools
and Staffing Survey.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_070.asp

INDICATOR: State Policies on Out-of-Field Teachers

Calculation
The number and percentage of states that report they have a policy that
requires parents to receive notification when their child’s teacher(s) do not have
formal schooling in the field in which they teach.
The number and Percentage of states that report the existence of a policy that
stipulates a ban or cap on the number of out-of-field teachers.
195 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Source/Links
The National Center for Education Statistics, State Education Reforms,
2007–2008.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/tab3_10.asp

Data Availability/Discussion
Data is available on an annual basis.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


http://nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/tab3_10.asp

INDICATOR: Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral Degrees


Earned in Education.

Calculation
Numerator: Number of education degrees.
Denominator: Total number of degrees in all fields of study.

Source/Links
Tabulated by the National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources
Statistics using data from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center
for Education Statistics: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
Completions Survey.
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf08321/content.cfm?pub_id=3785&id=2

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available from 1997–2006, with the exception of 1999 for bachelor’s
and master’s degrees.

INDICATOR: Number of Teachers Leaving the Profession

Calculation
The number of teachers leaving the profession.

Sources/Links
Based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and
Staffing Survey, 2007.
http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d08/tables/dt08_073.asp?referrer=list

Data Availability/Discussion
Data were last reported in Table 73 of the 2008 Digest of Education Statistics,
released in March 2009.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://nces.ed.gov/
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 196

Recommendation Six:
Clarify and Simplify the
Admission Process
INDICATOR: Percentage of Four-Year Colleges with Application
Available Online

Calculation
Numerator: The total number of four-year institutions in the Annual Survey of
Colleges in a given year (e.g., 2007) indicating that application is available online
through college’s website.
Denominator: The number of four-year, degree-granting, not-for-profit, Title IV-
participating institutions in a given year (e.g., 2007). Universe includes four-year,
degree-granting, not-for-profit, Title IV-participating institutions, which were
identified using the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary
Education Data System (IPEDS).

Source/Links
Annual Survey of Colleges administered by the College Board. See
http://professionals.collegeboard.com/higher-ed/recruitment/annual-survey
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) online Data Center.
U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Education
Statistics.
http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for fall 2001 to most recent available (2008) and can be
gathered annually. Data are available for both public and private schools.

INDICATOR: Percentage of Four-Year Colleges to Which Students Can


Submit Applications Online

Calculation
Numerator: The total number of four-year institutions in the Annual Survey of
Colleges in a given year (e.g., 2007) indicating that application may be submitted
online.
Denominator: The number of four-year, degree-granting, not-for-profit, Title IV-
participating institutions in a given year (e.g., 2007). Universe includes four-year,
degree-granting, not-for-profit, Title IV-participating institutions, which were
identified using the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary
Education Data System (IPEDS).
197 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Source/Links
Annual Survey of Colleges administered by the College Board.
http://professionals.collegeboard.com/higher-ed/recruitment/annual-survey
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) online Data Center.
US Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Education
Statistics.
http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for fall 2001 to most recent available (2008) and can be
gathered annually. Data are available for both public and private schools.

INDICATOR: Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Participate in National


Application Systems

Calculation
Numerator: The total number of unique four-year institutions that are members
of the Common Application, Universal College Application, SuperAPP or
Common Black College Application in a given admission cycle (e.g., 2007–2008).
Denominator: The number of four-year, degree-granting, not-for-profit, Title IV-
participating institutions in fall of the corresponding admission cycle (e.g., 2007).

Source/Links
https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Members.aspx
https://www.universalcollegeapp.com
https://www.connectedu.net
http://www.eduinconline.com/
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) online Data Center.
U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC: National Center for Education
Statistics.
http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/

Data Availability/Discussion
Common Application data are available for 1975 to most recent available (2009);
Universal College Application partnered with colleges beginning with the
2007–2008 admission cycle, and data are available for fall 2007 to most recent
available (2009); SuperAPP was introduced for the 2009–2010 admission cycle,
and data will be available for fall 2009 and beyond; Common Black College
Application membership was available only for the admission season beginning
in fall 2009. Member institutions are updated annually. Data are available for
both public and private schools.
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 198

INDICATOR: Immediate Enrollment Rate of High School Graduates

Calculation
Includes high school graduates ages 16–24, who accounted for about 98
Percent of all high school graduates in a given year. Enrollment rates were
calculated from the Current Population Survey (CPS) data.

Source/Links
Planty, M., Hussar, W., Snyder, T., Kena, G., KewalRamani, A., Kemp, J., Bianco,
K., Dinkes, R. (2009). The Condition of Education 2009 (NCES 2009-081).
National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S.
Department of Education. Washington, DC.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 1972 to most recent available (2007) and are calculated
annually. Data are available by gender, race/ethnicity, family income, parent
education and type of institution.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2009/section3/indicator21.asp#info
U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey
(CPS), October Supplement, 1972–2007.

Recommendation Seven:
Provide More Need-Based Grant Aid
While Simplifying and Making the
Financial Aid Process More Transparent
INDICATOR: Grant Aid for Students from Low-Income Families

Calculation
Average total grant aid per dependent student by family income.

Source/Links
National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, National Center for Education
Statistics, calculations by the College Board.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 1992 to 2007 — annually.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


N/A
199 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

INDICATOR: Student Debt Levels

Calculation
Median Debt Levels of Degree and Certificate recipients in constant
2008 dollars.

Source/Links
NPSAS 2003-04, NPSAS 2007-08; Patricia Steele and Sandy Baum, “How Much
Are College Students Borrowing?” The College Board, 2009.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 2004 to 2008—annually.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


Annual Survey of Colleges administered by the College Board.

INDICATOR: Federal Student Aid Application Changes

Calculation
N/A

Source/Links
U.S. Department of Education.

Data Availability/Discussion
N/A

Related Data Sources/Related Links


N/A

INDICATOR: Implementation of Policies Designed to Provide Incentives


for Institutions to Promote Enrollment and Success of Low-Income and
First-Generation Students

Calculation
N/A

Source/Links
N/A

Data Availability/Discussion
N/A

Related Data Sources/Related Links


N/A
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 200

Recommendation Eight:
Keep College Affordable
INDICATOR: State Appropriations to Fund Public Higher Education

Calculation
State Fiscal Support for Higher Education and Local Tax Support for Higher
Education (in millions of dollars)/State Monies Plus Federal Stimulus and
Government Service Funds.

Source/Links
Illinois State University Study for the Center of Education Policy, Grapevine
Data, http://www.grapevine.ilstu.edu/tables/index.htm

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for Fiscal Years 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007,
2007–2008, 2008–2009, and 2009–2010.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


Annual Survey of Colleges administered by the College Board

INDICATOR: Levels of Tuition, Fees, and Other Costs of Attendance at


Colleges and Universities

Calculation
Average Published Charges for Undergraduates by Type and Control of
Institution, 2009–2010.
Average Published Charges for Undergraduates by Carnegie Classification,
2009–2010.
Average Annual Percentage Increase in Inflation-Adjusted Published Prices by
Decade, 1979–1980 to 2009–2010.
Average published public four-year college tuition and fees in 2009–2010.

Source/Links
The College Board, Trends in College Pricing, 2009.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 2009–2010.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


N/A
201 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

INDICATOR: Net Prices Students Pay for College

Calculation
Published tuition and fees, net tuition and fees, and room and board in constant
2009 dollars, full-time undergraduate students.
Average net prices for public four-year colleges by family income level of
dependent students, in constant 2007 dollars.

Source/Links
The College Board, Trends in College Pricing 2009; data from National
Postsecondary Student Aid Study.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 1995–2010.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


N/A

INDICATOR: Family Income Levels

Calculation
Percentage growth in mean family income by quintile in constant 2008 dollars,
1978–1988, 1988–1998 and 1998–2008.

Source/Links
The College Board, Trends in College Pricing, 2009.

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 1978–1988, 1988–1998 and 1998–2008.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


N/A

INDICATOR: Earnings of College Graduates

Calculation
Mean average earnings of full-time workers ages 25 to 29.

Source/Links
U.S. Census.
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/dinctabs.html

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available for 2003, 2007 and 2008.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.census.gov
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 202

Recommendation Nine:
Dramatically Increase College
Completion Rates
INDICATOR: Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rate

Calculation
Retention rates are determined by calculating a weighted average based on
each reporting institution’s first-time, full-time undergraduate enrollment.
Numerator: The number of students returning for sophomore year (aggregated
across reporting institutions).
Denominator: The number of students who entered the previous fall
(aggregated across reporting institutions).

Sources/Links
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
http://higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=92

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available and reported for 2004 to most recent available (2007) and are
gathered annually. Two-year private institutions data include for-profit colleges.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS Enrollment Survey, Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.
http://www.nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Measuring Up: The State-by-State Report Card http://www.highereducation.org

INDICATOR: Three-Year Graduation Rate of Associate Degree–Seeking


Students

Calculation
Graduation rates are determined by calculating a weighted average based
on each reporting Title IV, degree-granting institution’s first-time, full-time
undergraduate enrollment of those who graduated within three years.
Numerator: The number of students graduating within three years of entry
(aggregated across reporting institutions within a state).
Denominator: The number of students who entered in a given freshman cohort
(aggregated across reporting institutions within a state).

Sources/Links
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
http://higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?submeasure=24&year=2007&level=
nation&mode=data&state=0
203 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available and reported for 1997 to most recent available (2007) and
are gathered annually. The calculation does not account for transfers across
institutions.

Related Data Sources/Related Links


National Center for Education Statistics. IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey,
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.
http://www.nces.ed.gov.ipeds
Measuring Up: The State-by-State Report Card.
http://www.highereducation.org

INDICATOR: Six-Year Graduation Rate of Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking


Students

Calculation
Graduation rates are determined by calculating a weighted average based
on each reporting Title IV, degree-granting institution’s first-time, full-time
undergraduate enrollment who graduated within six years.
Numerator: The number of students graduating within six years of entry
(aggregated across reporting institutions within a state).
Denominator: The number of students who entered in a given freshman cohort
(aggregated across reporting institutions within a state).

Sources/Links
National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
http://higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/?year=2007&level=nation&mode=data&state=
0&submeasure=27

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are available and reported for 1997 to most recent available (2007) and
are gathered annually. The calculation does not account for transfers across
institutions.

Data Sources/Related Links


National Center for Educational Statistics. IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey,
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.
http://www.nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Measuring Up: The State-by-State Report Card.
http://www.highereducation.org
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 204

Recommendation Ten:
Provide Postsecondary Opportunities
as an Essential Element of Adult
Education Programs
INDICATOR: Educational Attainment for Adults Ages 25 to 64

Calculation
Percentage of adults ages 25 to 64 with an associate degree or higher, with less
than a high school diploma, with only a high school diploma but no college, with
some college but no degree.

Sources/Links
U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010.
U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2010.
http://factfinder.census.gov

Data Availability/Discussion
Data are reported for 2008, and data are gathered and produced annually.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/educ-attn.html

INDICATOR: Percentage of Adults with No High School Diploma who


Attained a GED

Calculation
Percentage of GEDs awarded in selected age-groups per 1,000, with no high
school diploma.

Source/Links
The National Center of Higher Education Management Systems, GED Testing
Service; U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey.

Data Availability/Discussion
Calculated data are reported for 2005, 2006 and 2008, and will be updated
annually.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=101
205 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

INDICATOR: Enrollment in State-Administered Adult Education Programs

Calculation
Enrollment in state-administered education programs per 1,000 adults ages 18
to 64 with less than a high school diploma.

Source/Links
Adult learning in focus: National and state-by-state data report. Council for Adult
and Experiential Learning (CAEL), 2008.
http://www.cael.org/adultlearninginfocus.htm

Data Availability/Discussion
Calculated data are reported for 2005. The raw data were from the U.S.
Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE).

Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/resource/index.html#research

INDICATOR: Rate of Nontraditional-Age Adults Enrolled in


Postsecondary Education

Calculation
Percentage of undergraduate enrollment in selected age groups (ages 25 to 39
and 40 to 64) per 1,000 adults with just a high school diploma.

Source/Links
The National Center of Higher Education Management Systems, National
Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS Fall Enrollment; 2005 American
Community Survey.

Data Availability/Discussion
Calculated data are reported for 2005 and will be updated biennially.

Data Sources/Related Links


http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?measure=102
207 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

List of Figures
A Percentage of 25- to 64-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree
or Higher, 2007

B Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


or Higher, 2007

C Percentage of 55- to 64-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


or Higher, 2007

D Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


or Higher in the United States, 2000–2008

E Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


or Higher in the United States by Race/Ethnicity and Age, 2008

F Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


or Higher in the United States by Age, 2008

G Percentage of 25- to 34-Year-Olds with an Associate Degree


or Higher in the United States by State Rank, 2008

Figure 1.1 National Percentage of 3- to 5-Year-Olds Enrolled in Preschool


Programs by Poverty Status, 2008

Figure 1.2a Percentage of 3-Year-Olds Enrolled in State-Funded Pre-K


Programs by State Rank, 2008

Figure 1.2b Percentage of 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in State-Funded Pre-K


Programs by State Rank, 2008

Figure 1.3a Percentage of 3- and 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start


Programs by State Rank, 2008

Figure 1.3b Percentage of 3-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start Programs


by State Rank, 2008

Figure 1.3c Percentage of 4-Year-Olds Enrolled in Head Start Programs


by State Rank, 2008
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 208

Figure 2.1a National Student-to-Counselor Ratio, 1997–2007

Figure 2.1b Student-to-Counselor Ratio by State Rank, 2007

Figure 2.2 States with Comprehensive School Counseling Programs,


2008

Figure 2.3a Percentage of Secondary Schools that Require Professional


Development, 2006–2008

Figure 2.3b Percentage of Secondary Schools that Cover All Professional


Development Costs, 2004–2008

Figure 2.4a Percentage of Counselors’ Time Spent on Postsecondary


Admission Counseling by School Type, 2004–2008

Figure 2.4b Percentage of Counselors’ Time Spent on Tasks by School


Type, 2008

Figure 3.1a National Average Graduation Rates for Public High School
Students, 2001–2006

Figure 3.1b Average Graduation Rates for Public High School Students
by State Rank, 2006

Figure 3.2a National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to


24-Year-Olds, 1998–2007

Figure 3.2b National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to


24-Year-Olds by Race/Ethnicity, 2007

Figure 3.2c National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to


24-Year-Olds by Gender, 2007

Figure 3.2d National Status Dropout Rates of Non-Institutionalized 16- to


24-Year-Olds by Age, 2007

Figure 3.3a National Status Dropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to


24-Year-Olds (Institutionalized), 2007

Figure 3.3b National Status Dropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to


24-Year-Olds by Race/Ethnicity, 2007

Figure 3.3c Status Dropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to 24-Year-Olds


by Gender, 2007
209 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Figure 3.3d National Status Dropout Rates of Institutionalized 16- to


24-Year-Olds by Age, 2007

Figure 3.4a National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds,


1998–2007

Figure 3.4b National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds by Race/


Ethnicity, 2007

Figure 3.4c National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds by


Gender, 2007

Figure 3.4d National Event Dropout Rates of 15- to 24-Year-Olds by


Family Income, 2007

Figure 3.4e Event Dropout Rates for Public School Students in Grades
9–12 by State Rank, 2006

Figure 4.1a Percentage of Public High Schools Offering Advanced


Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Courses
in the Four Core Subject Areas by State Rank, 2009

Figure 4.1b Percentage of Public High Schools Offering Advanced


Placement (AP) in Four Core Subject Areas by State
Rank, 2009

Figure 4.1c Percentage of Public High Schools Offering International


Baccalaureate (IB) Courses in the Four Core Subject Areas
by State Rank, 2009

Figure 4.2a Percentage of States with Alignment Between High School


Standards and College and Workplace Expectations, 2009

Figure 4.2b Percentage of States with Alignment Between High School


Graduation Requirements and College and Workplace
Expectations, 2009

Figure 4.2c Percentage of States with College and Career-Ready


Assessment Systems, 2009

Figure 4.2d Percentage of States with P–20 Longitudinal Data Systems,


2009

Figure 4.2e Percentage of States Committed to Adopting the National


Common Core Standards, 2009
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 210

Figure 4.3 National Percentage of Students in Remedial College Classes,


2000

Figure 5.1a States with Professional Development Standards, 2008

Figure 5.1b States that Finance Professional Development for All


Districts, 2008

Figure 5.1c States that Require Districts/Schools to Set Aside Time for
Professional Development, 2008

Figure 5.1d States that Require Districts to Align Professional Development


with Local Priorities and Goals, 2008

Figure 5.1e States that Provide Incentives for Teachers to Earn National
Board Certification, 2008

Figure 5.2a Percentage of Public School Teachers of Grades 9 Through


12 by Field, 2008

Figure 5.2b Percentage of Public School Teachers of Grades 9 Through


12 in STEM Fields by Race/Ethnicity, 2008

Figure 5.2c Percentage of Public School Teachers of Grades 9 Through


12 in STEM Fields by Gender, 2008

Figure 5.3a States that Require Parental Notification of Out-of-Field


Teachers, 2008

Figure 5.3b States that Have a Ban or Cap on the Number of Out-of-Field
Teachers, 2008

Figure 5.4a Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral Degrees Earned


in Education, 1997–2006

Figure 5.4b Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral Degrees Earned


in Education by Race/Ethnicity, 2006

Figure 5.4c Percentage of Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral Degrees Earned


in Education by Gender, 2006

Figure 5.5a National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Profession,


1989–2005
211 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Figure 5.5b National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Profession


by Race/Ethnicity, 2005

Figure 5.5c National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Profession


by Gender, 2005

Figure 5.5d National Percentage of Teachers Leaving the Profession


by Age, 2005

Figure 6.1a National Percentage of Four-Year Colleges with Admission


Applications Available Online, 2001–2008

Figure 6.1b Percentage of Four-Year Colleges with Admission Applications


Available Online by State Rank, 2008

Figure 6.2a National Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Accept


Admission Applications Online, 2001–2008

Figure 6.2b Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Accept Admission


Applications Online by State Rank, 2008

Figure 6.3a National Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Use the


Common Application, Universal College Application, SuperAPP
or the Common Black College Application, 2000–2008

Figure 6.3b Percentage of Four-Year Colleges that Use the Common


Application, Universal College Application, SuperAPP or the
Common Black College Application by State Rank, 2008

Figure 6.4a National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled in


Two- or Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following
Graduation, 1997–2007

Figure 6.4b National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled


in Two- or Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following
Graduation by Race/Ethnicity, 2007

Figure 6.4c National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled


in Two- or Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following
Graduation by Gender, 2007

Figure 6.4d National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled in


Two- or Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following Graduation
by Family Income, 2007
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 212

Figure 6.4e National Percentage of High School Graduates Enrolled in


Two- or Four-Year Colleges Immediately Following Graduation
by Parental Education, 2007

Figure 6.4f Estimated Rate of High School Graduates Going to College


by State Rank, 2006

Figure 6.4g Estimated Rate of High School Graduates Going to College


in Home State by State Rank, 2006

Figure 7.1a Average Total Grant Aid Per Low-Income Dependent


Student, 1993–2008 (In Constant 2007 Dollars)

Figure 7.1b National Average Percentage Increase in Total Grant Aid Per
Dependent Student by Income, 2004–2008

Figure 7.1c National Average Dollar Increase in Total Grant Aid Per
Dependent Student by Income, 2004–2008

Figure 7.2a National Median Loan Debt, 2004 and 2008 (In Current Dollars)

Figure 7.2b National Average Annual Percentage Increase in Median Debt


Level, 2004–2008 (In Current Dollars)

Figure 8.1a State Fiscal Support for Higher Education, FY 2005 to FY 2010,
(in Millions of Constant 2009 Dollars)

Figure 8.1b Change in State Fiscal Support for Higher Education,


FY 2009 to FY 2010

Figure 8.1c Change in State Fiscal Support for Higher Education by State
Rank, FY 2009 to FY 2010

Figure 8.1d Per Capita Change in State Fiscal Support for Higher
Education by State Rank, FY 2009 to FY 2010

Figure 8.2a Levels of Tuition and Fees for 2009–2010


(Enrollment-Weighted)

Figure 8.2b Percentage Change in Published Tuition and Fees Charges


for Undergraduates, 2008–2009 to 2009–2010 (Enrollment-
Weighted)

Figure 8.2c Average Annual Percentage Increase in Inflation-Adjusted


213 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Published Prices by Decade, 1979–1980 to 2009–2010

Figure 8.2d In-State Published Tuition Prices at Public Two-Year Institutions


by State Rank, 2010

Figure 8.2e In-State Tuition Prices at Public Four-Year Institutions by


State Rank, 2010

Figure 8.2f In-State Tuition Prices at Private Four-Year Institutions by


State Rank, 2010

Figure 8.2g Percentage Change in In-State Published Tuition Prices at


Public Two-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2008–2009 to
2009–2010

Figure 8.2h Percentage Change in Published In-State Tuition Prices at


Public Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2008–2009 to
2009–2010

Figure 8.2i Percentage Change in Published In-State Tuition Prices at


Private Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2008–2009 to
2009–2010

Figure 8.3 Published Net Tuition and Fees for Full-Time Undergraduate
Students, 1995–2010 (in Constant 2009 Dollars)

Figure 8.4 Growth in Mean Family Income by Quintile, 1998–2008


(in Constant 2008 Dollars)

Figure 8.5a Average Earnings of Full-Time Workers Ages 25–29, 2008

Figure 8.5b Change in Average Earnings of Full-Time Workers Ages 25 to


29, 2007 to 2008

Figure 9.1a National Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates,


2004–2007

Figure 9.1b Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates at Public


Two-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.1c Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates at Public


Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.1d Full-Time Freshman-to-Sophomore Retention Rates at Private


Four-Year Institutions by State Rank, 2007
completionagenda.collegeboard.org Appendix 214

Figure 9.2a National Three-Year Graduation Rates of Associate Degree–


Seeking Students, 1997–2007

Figure 9.2b National Three-Year Graduation Rates of Associate Degree–


Seeking Students by Race/Ethnicity, Fall 2007

Figure 9.2c Three-Year Graduation Rates of Associate Degree–Seeking


Students by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.2d Three-Year Graduation Rates for Asian, Native Hawaiian and
Other Pacific Islander Associate Degree–Seeking Students by
State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.2e Three-Year Graduation Rates for American Indian or Alaska


Native Associate Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank,
2007

Figure 9.2f Three-Year Graduation Rates for African American Associate


Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.2g Three-Year Graduation Rates for Hispanic Associate Degree–


Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.2h Three-Year Graduation Rates for White Associate Degree–


Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.3a National Six-Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor’s Degree–


Seeking Students, 1997–2007

Figure 9.3b National Six-Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor’s Degree–


Seeking Students by Race/Ethnicity, 2007

Figure 9.3c Six-Year Graduation Rates of Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking


Students by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.3d Six-Year Graduation Rates for Asian American or Pacific


Islander Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank,
2007

Figure 9.3e Six-Year Graduation Rates for American Indian or Alaska


Native Bachelor’s Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank,
2007

Figure 9.3f Six-Year Graduation Rates for African American Bachelor’s


Degree–Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007
215 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

Figure 9.3g Six-Year Graduation Rates for Hispanic Bachelor’s Degree–


Seeking Students by State Rank, 2007

Figure 9.3h Six-Year Graduation Rates for White Bachelor’s Degree–Seek-


ing Students by State Rank, 2007

Figure 10.1a National Educational Attainment of Adults Ages 25–64, 2008

Figure 10.1b Adults Ages 25–64 with Less Than a High School Diploma
by State Rank, 2008

Figure 10.1c Adults Ages 25–64 with Only a High School Diploma but No
College by State Rank, 2008

Figure 10.1d Adults Ages 25–64 with Some College but No Degree by State
Rank, 2008

Figure 10.2a National Percentage of GEDs Earned by Age, 2008

Figure 10.2b Percentage of Adults 18- to 24-Years-Old with No High School


Diploma Who Attained a GED by State Rank, 2008

Figure 10.2c Percentage of Adults 25- to 49-Years-Old with No High School


Diploma Who Attained a GED by State Rank, 2008

Figure 10.3a Enrollment in State-Administered Adult Education Programs


per 1,000 U.S. Residents with Less Than a High School
Diploma by Age Group, 2005

Figure 10.3b Enrollment in State-Administered ABE Programs per 1,000


Adults Ages 18–64 with Less Than a High School Diploma
by State Rank, 2005

Figure 10.4a National Percentage of Adults with Only a High School


Diploma Enrolled in Postsecondary Education, 2005

Figure 10.4b Percentage of 25- to 39-Year-Olds with Only a High School


Diploma Enrolled in Postsecondary Education by State
Rank, 2005

Figure 10.4c Percentage of 40- to 64-Year-Olds with Only a High School


Diploma Enrolled in Postsecondary Education by State
Rank, 2005
1 completionagenda.collegeboard.org

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whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity.
Founded in 1900, the College Board is composed of more than 5,700 schools,
colleges, universities and other educational organizations. Each year, the
College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000
high schools, and 3,800 colleges through major programs and services in
college readiness, college admission, guidance, assessment, financial aid
and enrollment. Among its widely recognized programs are the SAT®, the
PSAT/NMSQT®, the Advanced Placement Program® (AP ®), SpringBoard®
and ACCUPLACER®. The College Board is committed to the principles
of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its
programs, services, activities and concerns.

For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.

The College Board Advocacy & Policy Center was established to help
transform education in America. Guided by the College Board’s principles of
excellence and equity in education, we work to ensure that students from all
backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in college and beyond. We make
critical connections between policy, research and real-world practice to develop
innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges in education today.

This report can be downloaded at completionagenda.collegeboard.org.


Hard copies may be ordered by contacting cbadvocacy@collegeboard.org.

advocacy.collegeboard.org
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