It’s easy to get caught up in some of the negative media attention on the state of educational progress in the U.S. But not all news is negative. The Pew Research Center is reporting that a record number of students are finishing high school and completing college degrees.
In a survey of 25 to 29 year old citizens, the study found that 63 percent had completed some college and 33 percent hold at least a bachelor’s degree. That’s good news and represents an uptick over the last few years. In fact, the number of participants holding a bachelor’s degree represents a record number and is a huge increase over earlier years. In 1971, for example, only 12 percent of participants held a college degree.
And, as the authors make clear, this rising trend is indicative of a shift in attitudes toward the importance of college. In 1978, only 50% of the public felt that a college education was critical for success later in life. Today, 73% feel that college is a necessity in our society.
We’re pleased to see the trend moving in the right direction and can only hope that it continues to do so.