Data

How Far States Have to Go to Meet Obama's College-Completion Goal

February 24, 2010

President Obama has set a goal of putting the United States first in the world by 2020 in the proportion of residents with college degrees or certificates. Here is a breakdown of the progress each state would have to make by 2020 to help meet that goal, if each state were to maintain its current share of undergraduate credentials. The calculations, by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, take into account current levels of educational attainment and projected population growth in each state.

State Total additional degrees and certificates needed by 2020 Additional degrees and certificates needed annually to reach goal Average annual % increase in degrees and certificates needed
Nevada 70,916 1,074 6.4%
Arkansas 138,113 2,093 6.1%
Arizona 386,078 5,850 6.1%
West Virginia 92,283 1,398 5.9%
Tennessee 236,941 3,590 5.9%
Kentucky 264,451 4,007 5.9%
Texas 938,523 14,220 5.9%
Louisiana 204,730 3,102 5.9%
North Carolina 429,730 6,511 5.8%
Mississippi 126,683 1,919 5.7%
Georgia 455,809 6,906 5.7%
Florida 911,147 13,805 5.7%
Oklahoma 160,486 2,432 5.7%
Utah 183,412 2,779 5.6%
Alabama 191,658 2,904 5.6%
South Carolina 178,950 2,711 5.5%
Indiana 302,970 4,590 5.5%
Idaho 61,004 924 5.5%
Missouri 271,132 4,108 5.3%
Oregon 140,557 2,130 5.3%
Delaware 36,445 552 5.3%
Virginia 317,178 4,806 5.2%
California 1,518,414 23,006 5.2%
Ohio 468,118 7,093 5.2%
Michigan 413,664 6,268 5.2%
Alaska 13,716 208 5.1%
Colorado 230,279 3,489 5.1%
Hawaii 42,760 648 5.1%
New Mexico 72,165 1,093 5.1%
Washington 282,579 4,281 5.1%
Wisconsin 268,527 4,069 5.0%
Nebraska 87,683 1,329 5.0%
Wyoming 27,067 410 5.0%
Illinois 590,199 8,942 5.0%
Pennsylvania 533,615 8,085 5.0%
Iowa 188,778 2,860 5.0%
Maryland 184,050 2,789 5.0%
Kansas 140,750 2,133 5.0%
South Dakota 34,211 518 4.9%
Rhode Island 61,652 934 4.9%
New Jersey 218,910 3,317 4.9%
Montana 30,473 462 4.8%
Maine 42,979 651 4.8%
Minnesota 244,874 3,710 4.8%
New York 745,206 11,291 4.7%
New Hampshire 50,336 763 4.7%
Massachusetts 259,844 3,937 4.7%
Connecticut 100,188 1,518 4.6%
North Dakota 32,611 494 4.6%
Vermont 26,473 401 4.5%
Nation 13,132,522 198,978 5.3%
Source: National Center for Higher Education Management Systems