The Limitations of Simple Solutions to Complex Problems: Degree Attainment in Indiana


Writing for the Indianapolis Business Journal, J. K. Wall has reported:

“Indiana’s public colleges and universities, spurred by pressure from state lawmakers, are pumping out more graduates than ever.

“But in spite of a 20-percent increase in degrees granted since 2010, the education level of Indiana’s younger adults has barely budged, for reasons that aren’t clear.

“Compared with the rest of the nation, the state actually lost ground in the past decade on the chunk of its residents age 18 to 34 holding at least an associate’s degree.”

Specifically, over a five-year period, the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded by Indiana’s public universities increased by about 7,700, from 38,400 in 2010 to more than 46,100 last year. Indeed, according to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, which has led the effort to increase the number of graduates, “rates of students completing their degree doubled from 2011 to 2013, and…

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