President Barack Obama on Monday will highlight his goal of dramatically boosting U.S. college graduation rates and will make the case that his administration has already taken significant steps to help achieve that goal, administration officials said.
Specifically, the Obama administration has said it wants the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, which would mean increasing the percentage of young adults in the United States who earn higher education degrees from 40 percent to 60 percent, administration officials said.
In other words, the U.S. would need to add more than 10 million college graduates over the next 10 years.
Currently, the U.S. ranks 12th among 36 developed nations when it comes to college completion rates, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Sunday. That puts the country behind Canada, Korea and Russia, who rank first, second and third respectively.
In his remarks Monday at the University of Texas at Austin, Obama is not expected to unveil any new policy initiatives.
Instead, he will tout policy initiatives that the administration argues will make college more affordable, including strengthening Pell Grants, as well as creating programs that make it easier for students to pay back loans after graduation.