Measuring Up 2008 looks at higher education in the U.S, finding that “the likelihood that a high school freshman will enroll in college by age 19 has improved modestly in this decade, from 39% to 42%.” More high school students are taking college-prep courses, but college completion rates remain low.
The United States’ world leadership in college access has eroded steadily, as reflected in the international comparisons of the proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college. In college completion, which has never been a strength of American higher education, the U.S. ranks 15th among 29 countries compared.
. . . For high school graduates, 73% of whites, 56% of blacks, and 58% of Hispanics enroll in college the next fall.
. . . 59% of white students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years of enrolling in college. In contrast, 47% of Hispanic students, 41% of African Americans, and 39% of Native American students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years.
The study also looks at college affordability, flunking all the states except for California, which has a cheap community college system. I’m dubious about the percentage of family income required to attend community college. Low-income students usually live at home and qualify for financial aid.
Here’s more on affordability.