Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Higher spending may not help U.S. higher education outperform peers

September 9th, 2014

The United States’ spending on higher education far outstrips that of other countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to the group’s annual Education at a Glance report released today. Annually, the U.S. spends about $26,000 per student, compared to the OECD average of less than $14,000.
But it looks like Americans may not be getting as much return on their investment as they could be.
In 2012, 43 percent of 25 to 64 year-old Americans held a degree beyond a high school diploma — up seven percentage points from 36 percent in 2000. Despite President Obama’s goals for increasing college access and completion, many OECD countries saw their degree-holding population rise faster over the same period. Canada, the only country where residents held more degrees than Americans in 2000, saw a 13 point jump to 53 percent in 2012. Luxembourg had the biggest increase — degree holders there rose from 18 to 39 percent of working-aged adults. (In the graphs included in this post upper secondary refers to educational attainment equivalent to a high school diploma in the U.S. and tertiary refers to the level of an associate’s degree or higher.)

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