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If Louisiana is responsible for the education of its citizens, then we must increase college and credential completion. Louisiana has the power and responsibility to demand more from higher education. After all, between direct financial support to schools and financial aid to students, state taxpayers are the majority investors in public colleges and universities.

By the end of this decade, more than 60% of jobs will require college education.

Job growth across the U.S., 2010-2020:


Today, only 28% of Louisiana’s adults aged 25-34 have a college degree.

High-Growth Jobs

Required Education

Dental Hygienist

Associate’s Degree

Computer Software Engineer

Bachelor’s Degree

HVAC/refrigeration mechanic


Physical therapist assistant

Network Systems Analyst

Associate’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

The Completion Shortfall Access without success is an empty promise…and a missed opportunity with economic consequences.

We can take pride in the great progress made in ensuring access to college: More than 65% of our young people start some kind of advanced training or education within two years of receiving their high school diplomas.

Yet for too many, the journey ends long before graduation day. They become dropouts.


Of students who start 4-year Bachelor’s degree programs finish in 6 years.

3Students outwhoofstart10 at community colleges graduate with an Associate’s degree in 3 years

Too many students get lost along the way, hindering Louisiana’s economic growth. (This chart models how success rates at each stage impact overall educational attainment. It is not based on longitudinal data, but is an attempt—using a collection of available data—to illustrate the challenges states face.)


Start 9th Grade


Graduate High School

42 lost 20 lost

4 Year School

2 Year School



Enter College



Return Sophomore Year



13 lost 17 lost On-time


150% time (on-time not available)

*Complete College America

Louisiana Graduation Rates Louisiana must raise completion rates overall and place extra focus on closing the college attainment gap for underrepresented students. Graduation Rates by Institution Type


Within 150% of time 55%





N/A 2 Year Public Colleges

4 Year Public Colleges

4 Year Private Colleges

*Complete College America

Lessons in Higher Education  

A look into higher education in Louisiana

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