Michigan’s College Attainment Rate Increases for the Sixth Year in a Row

Lumina Foundation releases report highlighting increase to 39.3 percent in 2014

April 12, 2016 - LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s college attainment rate has increased to its highest rate in more than six years according to new census data released from Lumina Foundation. In its 2016 report entitled “A Stronger Nation,” Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused solely on increasing Americans’ success in higher education, reported Michigan’s degree attainment rate of 25-64 year olds increased from 38.4 percent in 2013 to 39.3 percent in 2014. This is the sixth year in a row that Michigan’s college attainment rate has increased in a one-year period. 

“The impact of increasing Michigan’s college attainment rate is gaining momentum, but we still have important work to do,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network. “It’s exciting to see our efforts on a local level pay off, however we’re committed to reaching our goal of 60 percent of Michigan residents with a degree or postsecondary certificate  by the year 2025. Together through a statewide movement, I believe we can spark change to provide every Michigan student the opportunity to continue their education beyond high school.”

Lumina began reporting the attainment rate -- which includes associate degrees and higher -- in 2008. That year, the rate in Michigan stood at 35.7 percent. In 2014, the rate reached 39.3 percent. For the first time this year, there is nationally representative data on the number of Americans who hold postsecondary certificates. The report estimates that in Michigan, 4 percent of residents between the ages of 25 and 64 hold a high-quality certificate, which brings the state’s overall postsecondary attainment rate to 43.3 percent. 

The Michigan College Access Network is working to increase college attainment rates in the state of Michigan and driving home that college is for everyone. In six years, MCAN has accomplished the following:

  • Created and supported nearly 50 local college access networks that are increasing college participation and completion rates
  • Launched AdviseMI, an innovative program to place recent college graduates directly in high schools across the state to provide direct support for the college and financial application process, focusing on helping low-income and first-generation college-going students. 
  • Trained 350+ school counselors on how to be to be college counseling and postsecondary planning specialists.
  • Convened and participated in the Michigan Postsecondary Credential Attainment Workgroup, which published Reaching for Opportunity, a refreshed policy agenda and action plan to help Michigan reach Goal 2025.
  • Established annual College Application Week encouraging students across the state to apply for colleges.
  • Developed public awareness and outreach campaigns and assist students to families applying for federal student aid.
  • Celebrates College Decision Day, an event that plays on the NCAA’s national signing day for student athletes to celebrate students choosing to continue their education beyond high school.

To view the complete report, visit www.luminafoundation.org/stronger_nation2016. To view the Michigan brief, click here.


About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. Michigan has recently experienced an increase in our college attainment rate -- from 38.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree, to 39.3 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 40.4 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit www.micollegeaccess.org.  

Media Contact: Lisa King 
Email: lisa(a)micollegeaccess.org 
Office: 517-316-1713 
Cell: 313-451-1387

Download Press Release (PDF) 

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