After Seven Years, Idaho Nowhere Near 60 Percent Degree Completion Goal

Oct 24, 2018

Idaho has made minimal progress toward its goal of 60 percent completion rates for postsecondary degrees or certificates among those age 25 to 34. The state's completion rate has sat at 42 percent for three years.
Credit Alan Yoo / Flickr

Idaho has a goal of seeing 60 percent of its young people obtain a college degree or certificate. The campaign to get completion levels to that threshold began seven years ago. New data reveals minimal progress toward the 60 percent figure.

The goal was to get a majority of Idahoans between ages 25 and 34 to complete a college degree or get a certificate. The push to reach 60 percent completion started seven years ago. Recently released census data shows the rate of completion sitting at 42 percent for the third year in a row.

A report from Idaho Ed News says the stagnation comes in the face of $133 million in new and ongoing spending and two gubernatorial task forces. Governor Butch Otter convened one focusing on K-12 education and another on higher ed. Both were charged with getting the state to the 60 percent goal by 2020. The target date has now been pushed back to 2025.

The nation as a whole has set a 60 percent degree or certification goal. A study from earlier this year by the Lumina Foundation ranked the Gem State number 45 in the country when it comes to postsecondary completion.

While the statewide degree or certificate completion figure hasn’t budged from 42 percent, Idaho Ed News says there are highly educated pockets around the state. Latah County has a completion rate of 57 percent, and Madison County is at 55 percent.

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