With most good-paying jobs requiring education and training beyond high school, completing a postsecondary education is the proven path towards prosperity. For some, that means a college degree. For others, that may mean a certificate or completion of an apprenticeship. Whatever a student’s “college” path, we all benefit when more Missouri students earn a credential that leads to careers that support them and their families.
A postsecondary education yields more than a higher income. Earning a postsecondary credential also leads to improved health, greater civic engagement, and other improvements to quality of life.
Unfortunately, significant disparities exist in who can access, afford, and complete a degree or certificate. Students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and students in rural communities do not earn credentials at the same rate as their peers.
For Missouri to reach its attainment goal of 60% of adults aged 25-64 with a postsecondary credential by 2030, it will need to produce 243,000 more degrees and certificates than current trends predict. To close equity gaps, Missouri needs to support the attainment of another 95,000 credentials for Black students, 33,000 for Hispanic students, and 215,000 for rural students.