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Closing the College Participation Gap: A National Summary PDF - As state economies decline and enrollment demand grows, people’s opportunity to obtain a postsecondary education – and states’ ability to provide access to one – is likely to be challenged in the coming years. This ECS report examines the potential threats to college participation, and offers assistance for policymakers interested in increasing access, particularly for disadvantaged populations. Major findings include: the United States is falling behind other industrialized nations in college participation; demographic and economic forces are converging to limit states’ ability to protect, much less expand, college access; and growing gaps in participation rates based on age, race and income level suggest large numbers of people are at risk of losing access to a college education. The major theme of the report is that closing the postsecondary participation gap is key to improving both economic and social well-being in states. Also available are profiles for all 50 states. (Sandra Ruppert, Education Commission of the States, 2003)...

Progress of Education Reform 2003: Educational Attainment PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform offers a brief review of recent research findings on the correlation between educational attainment and economic and social well-being. It also provides links to Web sites that feature state rankings on health, crime rates, voting participation, workforce preparation, per-capita income and tax revenues, and other key indicators. (Suzanne, Weiss, The Progress of Education Reform, vol. 4, no. 2, Education Commission of the States, September 2003)...

Education Pays 2010: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society - This new report details the personal, financial and lifetime benefits for students who obtain a higher education degree. The report also looks at the benefits to the community and shows how college graduates are less likely to rely on social support programs and more likely to be active citizens and lead healthy lifestyles. A graph illustrates the median earnings of bachelor degree recipients ($55,700), the earnings for high school graduates ($33,800) and high school dropouts ($24,300). (Sandy Baum, Jenifer Ma and Kathleen Payea, College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, September 2010)...

Cost, Commitment, and Attainment in Higher Education: An International Comparison - This report moves away from the more traditional approach of comparing countries on the basis of college entry rates and focuses instead on completion rates. The authors look at the amount that countries spend on tertiary education per student; the share of GPD a country spend on tertiary education; and the share of working-age adults holding a tertiary education degree. They conclude by recommending more resources for community colleges, more attention to developing strategies to improve completion rates, and increasing enrollments to moderate costs. (Arthur Hauptman and Young Kim, Jobs for the Future, May 2009)...

Educational Attainment: A Census 2000 Brief - This report presents data on the educational attainment of Americans 25 years and older by regions, states, counties and cities, and by age, sex and race. Among the major findings: education levels in the United States are high and rising, and growth in educational attainment from 1990 to 2000 occurred throughout the nation, narrowing differences across regions and among states. (U.S. Census Bureau, August 2003) ...

America’s Health: UnitedHealth Foundation State Health Rankings 2002 Edition: A Call to Action for People and their Communities - This report includes state-by-state snapshots in areas such as violent crime, high school graduation and child poverty rates. (UnitedHealth Foundation, 2002)...

The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life - This report focuses on the relationship between educational attainment and earnings, and examines how the relationship has changed over the last 25 years. It also provides, by level of education, estimates of the average total earnings adults are likely to accumulate over the course of their working lives. Since the mid-1970s, earnings differences have grown among workers with different levels of education, according to this publication. (U.S. Census Bureau, July 2002)...

The Twin Challenges of Mediocrity and Inequality: Literacy in the U.S. from an - The first in a series of monographs based on data from national and international literacy surveys, this report focuses on the performance of U.S. adults in comparison to adults in other advanced countries. It finds that the nation’s overall performance is mediocre at best and that the United States is among the world’s leaders in the degree of inequality between its best and poorest performers. According to the report, the United States spends more per capita on education than nearly all other high-income countries and sends far more of its population on to higher education, but average literacy proficiency scores at best only match the world average. (Educational Testing Service, Statistics and Research Division, Center for Global Assessment, February 2002) ...

The Well-Being of Nations: The Role of Human and Social Capital Executive Summary - This international study focuses on the correlation between human capital – the knowledge and skills derived from education, training and experience – and national well-being: economic growth, better health, lower crime, political and community participation, and social cohesion. The study found, for example, that one extra year of education leads – on average and in the long run – to an increase in output per capita of 4% to 7%. (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2001)...


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