Percent Of Hoosiers With College Degrees Rises Slowly

The percent of Hoosiers with college degrees is still below the national average.

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With the tough job market, Lumina Foundation Vice President DeWayne Matthews says a post-secondary education becomes more valuable.

A new report says the number of Indiana residents with college degrees is rising, but not nearly enough. Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation released the third edition of its “Stronger Nation through Higher Education” report Monday.

The report shows that in 2010, 33.2 percent of Indiana residents between the ages of 25 and 65 had college degrees, up about two-tenths of a percent from 2009. The national average is 38.7 percent. A slightly higher percent of Hoosiers had degrees in the 25 to 34 age range at 35.7 percent, also up two-tenths of a percent from 2009.

Lumina Foundation Vice President DeWayne Matthews says with the high unemployment rate, college degrees are even more important, and older Indiana residents should not shy away from returning to school.

“We don‘t really think they‘re coming back, and for people to maintain standard of living for themselves and their families, they‘re gonna have to get the skills and get the knowledge from post secondary education,” he says.

Matthews adds that currently, 746,000 Indiana residents between 25 and 64 have college credits but have not completed their degrees. He says addressing that figure alone could boost the college education population in Indiana by nearly 100,000.

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