The American Education Gap

America was once the leader in postsecondary degrees. However, in recent years it has fallen far from the top.

            The Lumina Foundation for Education placed a goal in 2008 for a college completion rate of 60 percent by 2025. America will not reach that goal, according to an article in The Washington Post.

            The foundation claims to be the first organization to set this benchmark, which was later adopted by President Barack Obama and other education administrators.

            The number of Americans aged 25-64 with postsecondary degrees has risen slightly since 2007, from 37.7 percent to 37.9 percent in 2008. If this trend continues, the graduation rate could reach 46.6 percent in 2025, which would be around 23 million graduates shy of the goal.

            For America to reach its aggressive goal by 2025, it would have to produce about 278,781 more graduates each year until 2025, amassing to 38 million more college graduates.

            Politicians and administrators are throwing around many ideas. One idea is to contact Americans who attended some college but never graduated, encouraging them to go back to school. This plan could also make it easier for these people to achieve degrees. It would allow them to take only one or two classes to attain a degree, significantly cutting the amount of classes they would actually need.

            Another option for boosting college completion is reaching out to minority members. The college completion rate for African Americans stands at 26 percent and 19 percent for Hispanics. The Washington Post insinuated that colleges need to more effectively recruit underrepresented groups. This could boost the overall college completion rate, and it could help America inch closer to its 2025 goal.

            However, this is not necessarily bad news for students of all ages. America could begin to make desperate attempts to place more students in college. This could decrease tuition costs and make college more accessible for students. Scholarship funds could increase as well.

            Increasing the number of college graduates is likely to give America a more competitive edge in the business world. This could create more jobs and boost America’s economy.