College Grads: Both Record High and 'Distressingly Low'
Yes, both things at once
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 13, 2013 8:20 AM CDT
More Americans than ever are graduating from college.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The number of American college graduates has been surging in recent years to a record high—which is probably a fair bit lower than you'd expect. As of last year, 33.5% of Americans aged 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor's degree, according to federal data. That's up from 24.7% in 1995 and 21.9% in 1975. It's the result both of more people enrolling and colleges doing a better job (but still not great; see below) of actually getting students to completion.

Of course, another possible reason for the spike is the recession, which caused many to flee to campuses rather than brave the job market. But the New York Times reports that graduation rates remain "distressingly low"—just half of the freshmen who enrolled in 2006 had graduated by 2012. "There are worrisome signs that the demand for high-skilled talent is increasing more rapidly than we're actually educating people," says the CEO of one higher education foundation.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Jun 14, 2013 10:29 AM CDT
Meanwhile U.S. college graduates working low wage jobs are up 70% over a 10 year span.
Jun 13, 2013 12:16 PM CDT
The only direct benefactor of these educated people, is government that is lending them money for student loans, raising the cost of education without any guarantee that they will have a job here in our country.
Jun 13, 2013 11:19 AM CDT
Did you kick back and drink and party your way through college on your parents dime? You will probably need to move back in with them. Did you do research on the chances of finding a job in the various market sectors and choose your major accordingly? now have a shot at life and independence