In 2010, 47.2 percent of New Jerseyans between the ages of 25 to 34 held a postsecondary degree (associate college degree or above), which is high for the country as a whole but lower than many other states.
Nationally, the number is 39.3 percent, a small increase from 2009’s 38.8 percent. New Jersey’s rate of college attainment jumped from 45.9 percent in 2009.
States or regions with a higher rate than New Jersey include the District of Columbia 68.8 percent, Massachusetts at 54.3 percent, North Dakota at 50.8 percent, Minnesota at 49.8 percent, and New York at 49.6 percent.
The federal government has a goal of increasing the number of degree-holders to 60 percent by 2020. The U.S. was once first in the world when it came to the number of college graduates but has slide to 16th. A big issue, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, is the affordability of college. Deep state budget cuts and rising tuition prices have pushed a college education out of reach for many families, he said, challenging schools to keep down tuition prices.