Will this generation be the first to be less educated than their parents?

Interviewed by reporter Jon Marcus for his story, Jake Boyd took five years to finish a criminal-justice degree while working two jobs at the same time he was going to classes. (Photo by Rob Widdis/McClatchy Tribune)

In July, reporter Jon Marcus wrote a piece for The Hechinger Report looking at President Barack Obama’s college graduation goal and how much progress has been made toward reaching it.

The news wasn’t so good.

Now he’s been interviewed by Boston NPR’s Here and Now program about the fact that this generation of Americans could be the first in history to be less educated than their parents.

From the Here and Now site (where you can listen to the full interview):

It’s back to college time and more students than ever are attending this year.

College enrollment has been trending up for over a decade and according to a new study by the  Pew Research Center, it’s now at a historic high. In 2010, the last year for which statistics are available, there were 12 million students in college between ages 18 and 24.

Now here’s the “but.”

For every five students who start in community college, only one finishes within three years, even though community college programs are supposed to be two years or less.

The numbers at four year colleges are not much better — only around half the students who enroll manage to get their Bachelors’ degrees in six years.

POSTED BY ON August 30, 2011