PennsylvaniaPennsylvania

State Summary Report Card (PDF)
Complete State Report Card (PDF)

Performance Categories

Preparation

B-

Improved

Pennsylvania performs fairly well in preparing its young people for college, but there are large gaps by ethnicity.

  • Eighth graders perform very well in math and reading, but their scores in writing are only fair.
  • Eighty-four percent of blacks have a high school credential, compared with 93% of whites.

Participation

C-

Improved

College opportunities for Pennsylvania residents are only fair.

  • The likelihood of enrolling in college by age 19 is high, but a very low percentage of working-age adults (4 in 100) are enrolled in higher education.
  • Thirty-two percent of black young adults are enrolled in college, compared with 45% of whites.

Affordability

F

Not Improved

Higher education has become less affordable for students and their families.

  • Financial aid to low-income students is high compared with other states. For every dollar in Pell Grant aid to students, the state spends 86 cents.
  • However, poor and working-class families must devote 61% of their income, even after aid, to pay for costs at public four-year colleges.

Completion

A

Improved

Pennsylvania performs very well in awarding certificates and degrees.

  • Sixty-five percent of college students complete a bachelor's degree within six years—a top performance on this indicator.
  • However, only 47% of blacks graduate within six years, compared with 66% of whites.

Benefits

C

Improved

Only a fair proportion of residents have a bachelor's degree, and this weakens the state economy.

  • Fifteen percent of blacks have a bachelor's degree, compared with 30% of whites.
  • If all racial/ethnic groups had the same educational attainment and earnings as whites, total annual personal income in the state would be about $11 billion higher.

Learning

I

Like all states, Pennsylvania receives an "Incomplete" in Learning because there is not sufficient data to allow meaningful state-by-state comparisons.

 

Change Over Time: Key Indicators

The following reflects Pennsylvania’s performance and progress since the early 1990s on several key indicators.

Preparation

The percentage of young adults in Pennsylvania who earn a high school diploma has increased slightly since the early 1990s. High school completion is above the U.S. average but below the top-performing states.

Participation

College enrollment of young adults in Pennsylvania has improved substantially since the early 1990s. The state is above the national average but below the top states in the percentage of young adults enrolled.

The enrollment of working-age adults, relative to the number of residents without a bachelor’s degree, has declined in Pennsylvania—as it has nationally and in the best-performing states. The percentage attending college in Pennsylvania is well below the U.S. average and the top states.

Affordability

The share of family income, even after financial aid, needed to pay for college has risen substantially. To attend public two- and four-year colleges in Pennsylvania, students and families pay more than the U.S. average and more than those in the best-performing states.

Completion

The number of undergraduate credentials and degrees awarded in Pennsylvania, relative to the number of students enrolled, has remained stable since the early 1990s. Pennsylvania surpasses the U.S. average and performs the same as the top states on this measure.

Benefits

The percentage of residents who have a bachelor’s degree has increased substantially in Pennsylvania, but is the same as the U.S. average and below the top states.