February 26, 2009 

Meeting President Obama's Higher Education Goal: New Report Provides
50-State Roadmap to Increasing College Attainment 

Indianapolis-Lumina Foundation for Education today unveiled a new
report, A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education
higher_education.pdf> , which includes a detailed explanation of
Lumina's 'big goal' to significantly increase higher education
attainment. The report also includes a state-by-state-and
county-by-county-analysis of college attainment statistics that serve as
a call to action for policymakers to make higher education more
accessible and attainable for all Americans. 

Lumina's big goal is to have 60 percent of Americans hold high-quality,
two- or four-year college degrees and credentials by 2025. To reach that
goal, we have to produce 16 million more graduates than we will at
current rates. The report's state-by-state analysis examines Census data
from 2000. It also identifies prescriptions for reaching the goal that
include improving college access information, improving college
affordability, enhancing institutional productivity and learning
outcomes and improving data systems.

"Higher education needs to be a driving force in turning our economy in
the right direction," stated Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of
Lumina. "We know now, from President Obama's strong comments in his
speech to Congress this week, that our nation's attention is focused on
higher education's potential to help solve this crisis. To reach the
highest proportion of college graduates in the world that President
Obama called for, Lumina's 60 percent goal must be the benchmark we
strive to achieve."

"Lumina recognized over a year ago that if we were to attain the big
goal, we needed to have a careful analysis of this state data," added
Dewayne Matthews, Lumina's vice president of policy and strategy. "This
detailed report can help policymakers identify the biggest gaps in
degree attainment by geographic area. They can examine this data as they
analyze, address and develop key strategies for those regions," he

For more information on the 'big goal' and to hear a discussion about
this report, please listen to a podcast conversation
<>  between Merisotis and

Lumina Foundation for Education, an Indianapolis-based private
foundation, strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding
access to and success in education beyond high school. Through grants
for research, innovation, communication and evaluation, as well as
policy education and leadership development, Lumina Foundation addresses
issues that affect access and educational attainment among all students,
particularly underserved student groups such as minorities,
first-generation college-goers, students from low-income families and
working adults. The Foundation bases its mission on the belief that
postsecondary education remains one of the most beneficial investments
that individuals can make in themselves and that a society can make in
its people.

For more information, contact Dianna L. Boyce
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> , Communication Associate, at



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