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States Gather to Tackle College Graduation Challenge

As a nation, we're doing a better job at getting more kids into college. Where we could use some improvement is helping them graduate.

Since 1970, college enrollment has grown nearly 35 percent. Yet completion rates have been flat, according to Complete College America, a national nonprofit working to change those figures. The organization wants to influence state policymakers to remove obstacles and redesign academic delivery to accelerate graduation rates.

Today, the group is hosting a gathering in Nashville, Tenn., with representatives from 22 states to hash out ideas about how to graduate more students from college. The charter members who joined the Alliance of States pledged to set completion goals, develop action plans, and share common measures of progress in improving college graduation rates. At the Inaugural Convening, which will take place through tomorrow, the group will discuss college readiness, remediation efforts, funding, and faster pathways to degrees.

It's important work. In just 10 years, more than 60 percent of all new jobs will require a college education and only about half of students who start four-year degrees graduate within six years, the organization notes. Which states will lead the way?

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