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Washington Brief 2012

Washington is one of the top-ranked states in the nation in the share of students who graduate from public four-year institutions within six years of enrolling. But this statistic masks the fact that Washington lags behind most other states in the total number of bachelor’s degrees produced per capita. And although Washington ranks 11th in the nation in the percentage of adults who have earned at least an associate’s degree, the state’s success in this area stems from its ability to attract well-educated residents from other states and countries, who help to raise the level of education of the state population as a whole.

To reach the level of educational attainment of top-performing states and countries, Washington must increase educational attainment, particularly among younger residents. Washington also needs to improve higher education to meet workforce demands. The state’s economy is one of the most technology-intensive in the nation. By 2018, 67% of all jobs in Washington are projected to require workers to have at least some postsecondary education or training.

Press Coverage 

Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal (3/3/14): Penn study criticizes Washington higher ed plans

The Seattle Times (3/26/12): Report: College enrollment growing too slowly

Free Speech Radio News (2/17/12): In Washington, access to higher education still and obstacle for many

Six Presidents: An Unprecedented Conversation on Higher Education Funding in Washington

The Daily Pennsylvanian (1/23/12): GSE Professors find Washington Higher Ed Pitfalls

Yakima Herald (1/21/12): Will State's Leaders Work to Champion Universities?

The Seattle Times (1/16/12): Governor Had Solid Agenda, But...

The Seattle Times (1/13/12): UPenn Report Confirms State Officials Failed Leadership on Higher Education

The Wenatchee World (1/13/12): Higher Education Can't Keep Up

The News Tribune (1/12/12): Washington's Leaders Flunk the Higher Education Test

Yakima Herald (1/11/12): Higher Ed Answers Not Easy to Find   

Puget Sound Business Journal (1/10/12): Study Comes Down Hard on Wash. Politicians for State of Higher Education

The Bellingham Herald (1/10/12): Report: Washington State Higher Education in Crisis

Crosscut (1/10/12): Midday Scan: Legislators Killing Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed (1/10/12): Report Criticizes Higher Ed Policy Making in Washington State

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (1/9/12):

The Seattle Times (1/9/12): Report: Washington Falls Short in Higher Education

The Seattle Times (1/9/12): Higher-ed Woes Tied to State 'Leadership Vacuum'

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (1/9/12): Report: Washington Falls Short in Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education (1/9/12): 'Leadership Vacuum' Undermines Higher Education in Washington State, Study Finds

The Bellingham Herald (1/9/12): REPORT: Washington Falling Short in College Education


This report was part of the State Review Project, a project commissioned by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation for Education. Read more about the State Review Project.