College access and affordability has been a key area of focus for the Middle Class Task Force over the last two years. On this blog, we have frequently updated you on our Administration’s commitment to expanding student aid through Pell Grants and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
Providing every American child with the opportunity to go to college is critically important, but we can’t stop there. We need more American students to graduate from college. The President has set a clear goal: By 2020, America will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. Right now we are ninth.
70 percent of students go on to pursue some kind of postsecondary education after high school, but less than half actually get a degree or certificate within 6 years. Why is this so important? Because more than half of all new jobs created in the next decade will require a postsecondary degree. And college graduates make more money and are less likely to be unemployed than individuals with only a high school diploma. Ensuring that more students graduate from college is essential to maintaining a strong middle class.
Today the Vice President challenged every Governor to host a state college completion summit, and promised that the Department of Education would help any state develop a plan to boost completion.
The Vice President also announced the release of a new “College Completion Tool Kit,” produced by the Department of Education. The tool kit includes information on seven low-cost or no-cost strategies that states can use to boost completion.