College graduation

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Why This Indicator Matters

Graduating college with a degree will help people gain access to higher paying jobs and a person with a credential is less likely to be unemployed. Maine businesses need an educated work force to hire qualified employees. Having a degree is more important than it was thirty years ago in Maine, because of the loss of manufacturing jobs and other employment in industries such as logging.

What the data shows
Maine is above the national rates for college completion for students at 4-year institutions with 56.3% graduating within 6 years in Maine in 2015, compared to 53.8% in the US. For 2-year institutions, Maine is below the national average with a rate of completion within 3 years of 25.2% for a 2-year college, compared to a national rate of 29.1%.
For more national information, see

Looking at trends in Maine, in the last 3 years from 2012-2015 there has been an increase in the percent graduation within 6 years with a 4-year degree.  2014 was the year with the highest number of graduates at 4,548. For the 2-year schools, although the number of students starting at 2 year colleges has been increasing, there was a steady decline from 2000 to 2009 in the graduation rates within 3 years.From 2009 to 2015, Maine has been below the national average in graduation rates for 2-year colleges. Most recently, the rate has increased in 2014 & 2015 compared to 2013.
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