Participation: Improvements, Declines, and Gaps in Performance

The nation as a whole has made progress since the early 1990s in enrolling young adults (ages 18 to 24) in education or training beyond high school. During this time, 35 states increased the likelihood of ninth graders enrolling in college within four years. However, most states declined in enrolling working-age adults in college-level education or training. Furthermore, participation in higher education varies by race/ethnicity and by state of residence.

Key Indicator: Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college

Improved    43 states improved or stayed the same on the key indicator Declined    7 states declined on the key indicator

Improvements

Likelihood of high school freshmen enrolling in college within four years

South Carolina 25% to 36%
South Dakota 44% to 59%
Tennessee 32% to 42%
Louisiana 29% to 38%

Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college

Michigan 25% to 37%
Maine 25% to 35%
New York 25% to 34%
Massachusetts 29% to 41%
Arkansas 24% to 32%

 

Declines

Percentage of 25- to 49-year-olds (without a bachelor’s degree or higher) enrolled in higher education

Connecticut 8.2% to 3.9%
New Hampshire 7.1% to 3.4%
Rhode Island 9.3% to 4.8%
Massachusetts 8.2% to 4.8%
Colorado 12.2% to 7.3%
Nebraska 10.5% to 6.3%

 

Gaps

Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college

  Whites Blacks
Connecticut 50% 34%
Illinois 45% 29%
New Jersey 47% 32%
New York 50% 34%
 
  Whites Hispanics
Arizona 40% 18%
California 45% 27%
North Carolina 41% 12%
Texas 39% 24%
Utah 45% 16%
 
  Whites Native Americans
Washington 36% 13%
Alaska 33% 11%
Arizona 40% 18%