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Recruiting Intelligence

Hunger for Higher Ed: Trending Up...for Some

By 2025, the Lumina Foundation wants to announce: Mission Accomplished!

They want to announce that 60% of Americans are obtaining a college degree, certificate or other high quality post-secondary credential. Hey, MOOCS, do you think that you will count?   

We have admired for many years the single, focused mission of this foundation. This month, Lumina published its report "a stronger nation through higher education." It's not only a beautifully prepared report and website, but we love the message and data provided to all of us.  

Lumina Foundation CEO Jamie Merisotis, a relentless advocate for education, says, "we see even more encouraging signs - unmistakable signals that the need, the hunger for education is stronger than ever." He quotes that three of four Americans believe that a postsecondary degree or credential is important to attaining a better quality of life, while fully 90% believe it's important for the nation to increase college attainment rates. We second that. 

Chart 1 (below) is a great display of the challenge ahead for educators, media and public policy makers. Look at the current degree attainment by race. Less than half (43%) of the white population between 25-64 years of age have reached Lumina's post-high school education goal. While 59% the Asian population is attaining post-high school education. That's great!

The Black population comes in at 27%, Native Americans at 23%, and the Hispanic segment at 19%. We know that the Hispanic groups include a large first generation immigrant population, which would have been similar to our grand-parents or great grand parents' generations coming from Russia, Poland, Germany and the UK. But we know that the propensity to attend college is lower for young Hispanic high school graduates. And they are the fastest growing population segment in the US.

As we pointed out in last week's INTEAD INSIGHT, the Hispanic population will account for 1/3 of all high school students in many parts of the country within 8 years. 

Washington, DC, is the most educated metropolitan area in country with 55% of the population with post-high schedule education followed by Boston with 54%. Your authors used to live in Washington, DC, before we departed to Boston and New York, respectively. Coincidence?

For the record, we here at Intead have made our contribution to the level of education since both of us have masters level graduate degrees. And our company makes an effort to hire and train international graduate and undergraduate interns which in turn, helps us stay in touch with our target audience.  

The point is, we can personally attest that Washington is highly educated. Given the level of dysfunction in Washington, there just might be a correlation between higher educational levels and the inability to work collaboratively. There's a valuable social statistics project for you!

Let's get back to the domestic student recruitment demographics that matter for your institution. Check out the analysis state-by-state in this report. It may give you interesting ideas for your local marketing. And to help you with that marketing, don't forget to make use of our free social media content on Why Education Matters.org. The high-quality social media content on this site is there for your marketing team to drop into your regular social media drumbeat. We are still short of our goal to collect 1,000 quotes about Why Education Matters. So there is an opportunity for you to contribute your highly educated pearls of wisdom to support our international PR campaign. 

Let's help Lumina reach their goal. It will help us all. 

Chart 1 

Chart 2