Most Wash. students starting college don’t finish

Kylie Lacey's picture

Getting a kid through high school and into college might seem like a success story. But a Seattle-based research firm has found that less than a third of Washington students who start college – either two- or four-year – actually finish.

Nationally, the average college graduation rate is about 50 percent.

“People who think we have a high school dropout problem should look at the college graduation rates,” said Michael Dannenberg, director of higher education policy at Washington, D.C.-based Education Trust, an organization that seeks ways to close opportunity and achievement gaps for students from prekindergarten through college.

The data is discouraging, educators and business professionals say, because by 2018, 67 percent of all jobs in Washington will require a postsecondary education and training, according to a recent Georgetown University study.

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