The third edition of the Institute for a Competitive Workforce’s, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, annual state-by-state report card on publicly funded postsecondary education found that only 50% of students at state funded colleges and universities complete a degree.
While the net cost for students attending college is fairly well known, thereport, entitled Leaders and Laggards, provides a glimpse into the often murky world of state funding and accountability. Despite shrinking educational aid budgets, 33 states spend more than $50,000 in education related expenses to produce a credential at a two-year college.
The Chamber also found that only 22 states have the ability to track how graduates of post-secondary technical training programs do once they enter the workforce. Only four states allow students and taxpayers to compare labor market outcomes for programs and institutions at both the two-year and four-year level.
The report examines two-year and four-year publicly funded colleges and universities in all 50 states and grades them in six areas: student access and success, efficiency and cost effectiveness, meeting labor market demand, transparency and accountability, policy environment, and innovation.
Among the states identified as leaders in higher education were Texas, which was recognized for the efficiency and cost effective mentally at the state’s four-year institutions; Minnesota which was recognized for the transparency and accountability of four-year institution; and Florida, which was recognized for the state’s percentage of credentials and degrees produced per 100 full-time equivalent undergraduates.
Florida was also one of the only six states—including California, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington—to receive an overall A ranking in the report. However, none of the schools that received an A ranking excelled in all the categories that were considered. Washington, New Jersey and California all received a D grade in four categories, Virginia and Illinois each received a failing grade in one category and Florida had four categories that were considered simply adequate.
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