Officials with the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) have released the “Condition of Higher Education in Iowa 2014” report. The report provides policymakers with an overview of Iowa’s population in relation to college readiness, persistence, affordability, educational attainment and the future employability of the citizens of Iowa.
Karen Misjak, executive director of Iowa College Aid, said “As we work towards increasing Iowa’s overall educational attainment, the data in this report highlights where we are as a state and the challenges we will need to overcome in the process.” Misjak says “The report is a great resource for policymakers and those working towards increasing college preparation, access and persistence and completion rates in Iowa.”
Among other things, the report illustrates that:
· With an aging population, increasing the state’s educational attainment will require more adults to pursue post-secondary education.
· Iowans with bachelor’s degrees earn approximately 60 percent more than individuals with only a high school diploma and 110 percent more than those with less than a high school diploma.
· Less than 36 percent of Iowa’s working-age population holds an associate’s degree or higher, yet it is projected that 62 percent of all jobs in the state will require post-secondary education by 2018.
· Iowa counties with a high percent of their populations holding an associate’s degree or higher tend to have higher median earnings.
· Iowa students in the college pipeline are projected to be fewer in number and more racially and ethnically diverse.
· Increasingly, Iowans applying for financial aid for college have higher need.
· The median income of most state financial aid program recipients is well below that of the state as a whole.
· Increases in college costs have outpaced increases in household income and appropriations for state financial aid programs.
The full report can be accessed from Iowa College Aid’s Higher Education Data Center, https://www.iowacollegeaid.gov/content/higher-education-data-center.