Improving Kentucky Resident’s College Degree Attainment

One major obstacle Kentucky’s community college students face in reaching their higher education goals is the low transfer rate to four-year institutions. Those who identify as black or Hispanic have an even harder time transferring than those who identify as white. Adult learners also struggle to obtain a college degree. 

In order to overturn this trend, community colleges and universities must work together to streamline the transfer process by clearly outlining the main prerequisites and pathways. Furthermore, utilizing academic advisors to reduce informational obstacles may significantly increase transfer and on-time graduation rates by over 20%. Kentucky’s goal of having 60% of its population hold a post-secondary degree or credential by 2030 depends on these kinds of advancements. It is currently below the national average in baccalaureate degree attainments by 8%. 

Increasing college graduation rates can lead to increased workforce participation, improved financial security, and decreased participation in public benefit programs. Over the course of a lifetime, Kentucky residents with a college degree can expect to earn $1 million more than their counterparts with just a high school degree. Therefore it is imperative for Kentucky to close their educational gap and ensure their residents are set up for financial success.

Kentucky Student Success Story in the Making
Source: Kentucky Student Success Collaborative