Small rise in college completion for young adults

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Associated Press

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 3:01 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 12 at 4:00 AM

UNDATED (AP) — New government data finds the percentage of young adults earning a college degree has increased slightly but remains far below the level needed to reach the president's goal of having the U.S. rank first worldwide in college graduates.

The Education Department is releasing numbers Thursday that show 39.3 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 had earned an associate, bachelor's or graduate degree in 2010. That's a half-percentage point increase over 2009.

Rising tuition costs is one of several reasons why more young adults aren't graduating from college.

A 2011 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says the U.S. ranks 16th in the percentage of young adults who have earned a college degree, behind such countries as South Korea, Canada, Japan and Russia. However, the OECD says the U.S. ranks fourth globally when all age groups are included.

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