Pay Students to Graduate College? Pay Colleges to Graduate Students!

More

Across the country, mayors and governors have played with carrot/stick policies that offer cash rewards to students who thrive. Now the White House is offering sweeteners the same sweeteners for successful colleges.

Three of four Americans pursue some form of post-secondary education, but only 42% of 25-34 year olds earned college degrees. Half the students who enter college exit with a degree. To pull the success rate above 60% (even 70%? 80%?), the administration has launched a new sweepstakes for money-starved states: More than $100 million in carrots for school programs that "hold down tuition, increase completion rates and move students through college faster."

"We all know that the best jobs and fastest-growing firms will gravitate to countries, communities and states with a highly qualified work force," Mr. Duncan said.

The administration will calculate each state's expected share of the eight-million-graduate increase, taking into account their current college graduation rates. Currently, only 28 percent of young adults in Arkansas, Nevada and New Mexico have college degrees, compared with more than half in the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and North Dakota.

The administration is also releasing what it calls a tool kit of strategies to help governors meet those goals, like stabilizing tuition increases, singling out adults with some college experience but no degree and making it easier for students to transfer college credits.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In