The Chalk Board: Graduation Days

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The Chalk Board: Graduation Days The Chalk Board: Graduation Days

The Chalk Board: Graduation Days

April 16, 2010

President Obama has laid down the gauntlet: By 2020, he wants the proportion of Americans with college degrees to be the highest in the world. And while much is generally made of the abysmal high school graduation rate (one in three drop out), more attention is now being directed at the number of students that enroll in college, earn some credits, but never graduate.

Worldwide, we currently rank seventh among the proportion of adults enrolled in college—behind Korea, Greece, Poland, Ireland, Belgium, and Hungary. When it comes to actual degrees being completed, we fare even worse—all the way back in fifteenth place. Here is a breakdown of enrollments at public and private universities (data was taken from the 6,790 institutions that participate in Title IV federal student financial aid programs) and the number that finally make it through, degree in hand.

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