Thursday, October 4, 2012

Public colleges pledge to graduate 3.8 million by 2025

The United States has dropped from first to 14th in the developed world in the number of people with a college education. That's based on population statistics.

Now, nearly 500 public colleges across the country, including many in Illinois, are pledging to have an additional 3.8 million graduates by 2025. It's called Project Degree Completion. The mission is to help reach a national goal of having 60 percent of adults hold a college degree.

The University of Illinois and the University of Illinois Springfield are both on board.

UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said, "It is necessary that the U.S. have a very well educated and skillful workforce in order for us to be globally competitive."

Right now, the public colleges joining the effort hand out just over 1 million degrees every year. At current rates, that means about 14.6 million degrees by 2025. The new target is 18.4 million.

"We've been working hard to provide the financial aid students need to help them start college and stay in college to get their degree," Koch said.

Koch was interviewed by WICS-TV 20 on October 3, 2012.

Watch the story online