Goal 2025 News View All News
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Recent Policy View All Policies
November 20, 2014

Mayor and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Announce Scholarships for Qualified Public School Graduates

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Recent Research View All Research
November 20, 2014

Excelencia Report Examines How San Antonio Reimagined Financial Aid to Improve Attainment

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Featured Champion
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We know that data catalyzes action and creates a sense of urgency, and public reporting creates an accountability for our efforts. It shows the public where gains have been made, and it points to the gaps and areas where work needs to be done and scalable strategies need to be implemented.

- Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees

State Policy Agenda

The State Policy Agenda is designed for state leaders as a guidepost to increase higher education attainment and reach Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of Americans with high quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials to 60% by the year 2025.  It includes three core elements.  Under each are a set of specific evidence-based policy recommendations.

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Improve student outcomes

Reorienting and expanding the nation’s higher education system around student outcomes is a key step toward increasing postsecondary degree attainment among our working age population.

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Align investments

Systems of higher education are being asked to serve more students and to ensure their success with fewer resources. To succeed, states will need to rethink how they allocate resources to both institutions and students.

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Create smarter pathways

States and their higher education systems and institutions need to create clearer and smarter pathways to degrees for traditional and nontraditional students alike.

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Featured Videos
  • The Memphis Difference

    Education success for Latino students is imperative to Memphis’ future, contend business and education leaders in this video on an effort to shrink the equity gap and increase access and higher education attainment for Latinos in Memphis.

  • Using Data to Drive Community Improvement

  • Lumina Initiative Gives Community Leaders Support to Deepen Local Efforts

In the States
Denotes Strategy Labs Network State

41.2%

College Attainment Rate in Anchorage Municipality

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37.0%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 41.3% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

33.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 39.5%
National Goal: 60% by 2025

Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

37.5%

College Attainment Rate in the Birmingham-Hoover Metro Area

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Lawmakers set aside 20% for nontraditional students when Arkansas created its merit-based scholarship program.
Re-enroll Adults with Some College and No Degree

36.6%

College Attainment Rate in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metro Area

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29.3%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 36.2% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
Arizona allows students to complete three years at a community college and finish their degree at a university campus during the fourth year.
Develop Lower-Cost Pathways to Degrees

37.7%

College Attainment Rate in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale Metro Area

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36.7%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 41.4%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Arizona's Goal: Increase the percentage of adults with bachelor's degrees to 29-30% by 2020

39.7%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 44.0% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
California’s Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (2010) makes a student who completes an associate degree for transfer at a community college eligible for transfer with junior standing into the California State University (CSU) system.
Adopt Statewide Policies to Guarantee Transfer

39.4%

College Attainment Rate in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana Metro Area

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In 2012, Colorado lawmakers enacted SB 12-045, which provided for the reverse transfer of academic credits
Re-enroll Adults with Some College and No Degree

48.1%

College Attainment Rate in the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield Metro Area

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47.5%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 52.9% National Goal: 60% by 2025 Colorado's Goal: 66% by 2025

47.5%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 53.2% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

46.8%

College Attainment Rate in the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford Metro Area

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38.4%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 42.7% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

43.1%

College Attainment Rate in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metro Area

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Florida State University (FSU) Degree Mapping is an academic advising and monitoring system that provides an eight-semester map for each major field of study and a plan for graduating within four years.
Adopt Guided Pathways

39.9%

College Attainment Rate in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach Metro Area

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38.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 44.2% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
Gov. Nathan Deal released a plan for a needs-based college scholarship for low-income students in middle school who meet high academic standards and maintain clean disciplinary records.
Implement Comprehensive Financial Aid

43.8%

College Attainment Rate in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta Metro Area

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37.4%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 43.3%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Georgia's Goal: 60% by 2020

44.8%

College Attainment Rate in the Honolulu Metro Area

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42.6%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 47.4%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Hawaii's Goal: 55% by 2025
Under the new reverse credit transfer agreement, community college students who transfer to Iowa’s public universities can submit their University credits toward completion of an associate degree.
Adopt Statewide Policies to Guarantee Transfer

48.3%

College Attainment Rate in the Des Moines-West Des Moines Metro Area

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Learn how communities can Set an Attainment Goal & Measure Progress

41.8%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 51.2% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

36.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 40.9%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Idaho's Goal: 60% by 2020

39.6%

College Attainment Rate in the Boise City-Nampa Metro Area

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Illinois' Monetary Award Program is a need-based grant program that requires credit hours for eligibility.
Implement Comprehensive Financial Aid

44.2%

College Attainment Rate in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metro Area

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42.5%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 49.6%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Illinois' Goal: 60% by 2025

34.4%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 41.1%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Indiana's Goal: 60% by 2025

41.7%

College Attainment Rate in the Indianapolis-Carmel Metro Area

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Learn how communities can Set an Attainment Goal & Measure Progress

41.3%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 47.6% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Kansas' Goal: 60% by 2020

37.5%

College Attainment Rate in the Wichita Metro Area

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Kentucky was an early adopter in setting goals and developing state and institutional plans for improvement.
Develop a Plan

36.1%

College Attainment Rate in the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Area

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31.7%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 39.5% National Goal: 60% by 2025 Kentucky's Goal: 37% by 2020

33.9%

College Attainment Rate in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metro Area

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Louisiana set a 120-credit-hour limit for four-year degree programs and a 60-credit-hour limit for associate degrees.
Enact Credit Caps

29.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 34.5%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Louisiana's Goal: 42% by 2025

50.5%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 56.1% National Goal: 60% by 2025 Massachusetts' Goal: 60% by 2020

54.3%

College Attainment Rate in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy Metro Area

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45.5%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 51.8%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Maryland's Goal: 55% by 2025
At least 55% of Maryland’s adults (ages 25 to 64) will hold at least an associate’s degree by the year 2025—one of Maryland’s attainment goals.
Set an Attainment Goal

45.0%

College Attainment Rate in the Baltimore-Towson Metro Area

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39.0%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 45.0% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

53.4%

College Attainment Rate in Cumberland County

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38.8%

College Attainment Rate in the Detroit-Livonia Metro Area

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37.4%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 43.2% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
Minnesota is one of only a few states that prorate financial aid based on a maximum semester course load of 15 credits, instead of 12.
Implement Comprehensive Financial Aid

51.5%

College Attainment Rate in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metro Area

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47.7%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 56.6%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
Missouri partnered with Western Governors University to create a state-approved, online, competency-based option for students.
Ensure Availability of Competency-Based Programs

42.2%

College Attainment Rate in the St. Louis Metro Area

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36.6%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 43.6%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Missouri's Goal: 60% by 2020
Mississippi’s Education Achievement Council developed benchmarks to increase degree attainment of Mississippi’s working age population to the national average by 2025.
Set an Attainment Goal

39.1%

College Attainment Rate in the Jackson Metro Area

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31.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 37.8%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Mississippi's Goal: National average by 2025
Montana has set a goal to reach a target of 70% (68 percent budgeted for 2011) of expenditures spent on instruction, academic support and student services.
Reach a Consensus on Needed Financial Resources

38.7%

College Attainment Rate in Yellowstone County

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39.8%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 46.7%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Montana's Goal: 60% by 2020

38.4%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 45.4%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
N. Carolina's Goal: 37% by 2025

43.9%

College Attainment Rate in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill Metro Area

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45.6%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 54.8% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

54.2%

College Attainment Rate in Cass County

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43.0

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 50.6% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

44.5%

College Attainment Rate in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro Area

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46.7%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 53.4% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

54.3%

College Attainment Rate in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy Metro Area

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45.8%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 52.9% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

46.2%

College Attainment Rate in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island Metro Area

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35.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 39.2% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

38.5%

College Attainment Rate in the Albuquerque Metro Area

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30.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 34.9% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

29.5%

College Attainment Rate in the Las Vegas-Paradise Metro Area

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45.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 52.4% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
City University of New York created its Pathways initiative in an effort to streamline and clarify transfer and general education requirements across the system.
Adopt Statewide Policies to Guarantee Transfer

46.2%

College Attainment Rate in the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island Metro Area

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Ohio's performance funding is focused on course and degree completions, with different formulas for each sector.
Adopt and Sustain Outcomes-Based Funding

40.2%

College Attainment Rate in the Cincinatti-Middletown Metro Area

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36.5%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 43.3% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
Oklahoma's Promise offers scholarships to 8-10 graders that expire after 5 years, giving students incentive to attend full time.
Develop a Plan

36.4%

College Attainment Rate in the Oklahoma City Metro Area

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32.9%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 38.0% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

39.8%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 45.5%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Oregon's Goal40-40-20% by 2025

44.3%

College Attainment Rate in the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Metro Area

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Pennsylvania requires all community colleges and universities to identify a minimum of 30 credits that would be guaranteed to transfer between them.
Adopt Statewide Policies to Guarantee Transfer

43.1%

College Attainment Rate in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metro Area

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39.7%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 47.3% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

43.2%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 49.6% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

41.0%

College Attainment Rate in the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River Metro Area

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36.1%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 43.5% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

40.9%

College Attainment Rate in the Columbia Metro Area

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39.6%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 46.6% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

42.5%

College Attainment Rate in Minnehaha County

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39.8%

College Attainment Rate in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin Metro Area

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Tennessee's outcomes-based performance funding drives all state dollars to institutions solely on the basis of outcomes.
Adopt and Sustain Outcomes-Based Funding

33.3%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 40.2% National Goal: 60% by 2025 Tennessee's Goal: 55% by 2025  
Grad TX is a program designed to recruit adults who have prior college credits, work experiences but no college degree.
Re-enroll Adults with Some College and No Degree

39.2%

College Attainment Rate in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metro Area

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34.6%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 39.0%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Texas' Goal: 60% by 2036

41.4%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 47.0%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Utah's Goal: 66% by 2020

40.5%

College Attainment Rate in the Salt Lake City Metro Area

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The Virginia Higher Education Opportunity Act sets an ambitious goal for an additional 100,000 degrees over the next 15 years. It's also focused on improving college affordability and promoting innovation in higher education.
Set an Attainment Goal

55.0%

College Attainment Rate in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro Area

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45.3%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 53.0% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

47.0%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 54.1%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Vermont's Goal: 60% by 2020

59.7%

College Attainment Rate in Chittenden County

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Washington drafted a statewide policy for prior learning assessment and for transcribing PLA credit.
Award Credit Through Prior Learning Assessment

48.3%

College Attainment Rate in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metro Area

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42.8%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 47.4%
National Goal: 60% by 2025
Washington's Goal: 70% by 2023
UW FlexOption, a lower-cost, flexible program enables more adult learners to earn degrees in targeted fields.
Re-enroll Adults with Some College and No Degree

43.3%

College Attainment Rate in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis Metro Area

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40.9%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 48.5% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal
West Virginia's  PROMISE Scholarship encourages degree completion by requiring students to complete 30 credits per year.
Develop a Plan

55.0%

College Attainment Rate in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro Area

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27.8%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 34.3% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

37.0%

College Attainment Among Adults Ages 25-64
2025 Projected Attainment: 41.9% National Goal: 60% by 2025
Set an Ambitious Attainment Goal

40.4%

College Attainment Rate in Laramie County

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