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More young Michiganders are getting college degrees

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A new report shows a growing percentage of Michigan young people have college degrees.

But one expert says the state must do more to keep those graduates from leaving the state.

The U.S. Department of Education released a report today showing nationally the percentage of people between the ages of 25 and 34 with a college degree is edging higher (from 38.8% in 2009 to 39.3% in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data).

In Michigan, the percentage of young people with two or four year college degrees inched up from 36% to 37.2%.  

Lou Glazer is the president of Michigan Future Inc., that's a non-partisan group which wants the state to pursue a more knowledge-based economy.    He says the rise comes despite the state government cutting Higher Ed funding and state colleges and universities sharply increasing tuition during the past decade.

“This is mainly I think young adults understanding that their economic future is increasingly tied to college attainment,” says Glazer.

In the future, Glazer says the state should do more to attract and retain college educated young people.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is scheduled to deliver a major speech to the National Governors Association meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia on Friday.  In the speech, he’s expected to urge the governors to maintain state funding for colleges and universities and to hold the line on college tuition.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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