NCHEMS - CLASP

Increasing College Attainment in the United States:
Variations in Returns to States and Their Residents

 

The popularity of the national goals for college completion established by the Obama administration and large philanthropic organizations such as Lumina and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundations has sparked a flurry of related activities across U.S. postsecondary education. With the help of these philanthropies, organizations such as Complete College America and the National Governors Association are working directly with policymakers and other higher education leaders in some states to set specific goals for the education levels of their working-aged populations.  Other states are following suit without much direct outside intervention. 

The college-completion agenda is based on the premise that higher education produces both private and public financial benefits and thereby encourages economic prosperity. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), set out to investigate this founding premise by estimating the monetary returns the US as a whole and each of the 50 states would experience as a result of increasing the numbers of college graduates they produce. The results showed that increasing college attainment across the board generates greater benefits in some states than in others due to a combination of their economy and tax policies. Such findings add a new layer of complexity to the college completion agenda, both on the individual and state level.

The general acceptance of the strong relationships between education, income, and public economic strength is at the core of all of college attainment goals at the national and state levels.

For more information on this study and the models below, please contact Patrick Kelly at 303.497.0307 or Matt Crellin at 303.497.0330.

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Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

United States