US Fails to Reach Obama-era Targets for College Degree Holders


In 2009, then-President Barack Obama announced a $12 billion initiative with a goal of returning the US to first in the world in the proportion of the population with degrees.

Ten year later, however, this goal seems even further out of reach.

The Hechinger Report recently looked at the goals and plans set by the American Graduation Initiative (AGI) and found that the US has fallen way behind.

The AGI promised that by 2019, 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 would have a college degree.

US numbers have gone up, but only 48 percent of that population segment hold degrees. And according to predictions by the Educational Testing Service, that number won’t reach 60 percent until 2041.

“We compete in a world that is more and more dependent on knowledge industries, and we are falling behind now in the number of people that we have that can do those kinds of jobs,” Jon Marcus, higher education editor at The Hechinger Report, said.

“We are running out of people to do the jobs that really drive the American economy.”

Read more at The Hechinger Report.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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