Nearly 48% of Utahns have earned a college degree or certificate

In April, the Lumina Foundation released A Stronger Nation 2016its annual report of postsecondary attainment nationwide. This report shows that, as of 2014, 47.9% of Utahns aged 25-64 have earned a college degree or certificate.

Levels of education for Utah residents, ages 25-64

High-quality certificates

In previous years, Lumina has only reported on those earning college degrees (associate, bachelor’s, and graduate/professional). New to the report this year is the inclusion of those who have earned a high-quality certificate (6% in Utah). High-quality certificates are often awarded by community and technical colleges, have significant value in the workforce and can provide the basis and gateway for further education. For the purposes of this report, Lumina defined “high-quality certificates” as those which add at least 20% onto the expected wages of individuals with only a high school diploma. This is an estimate from Lumina and not definitive.

Degree attainment rates and enrollment patterns

Note: The first chart below does not take into account those students who earned certificates:

Degree attainment rates among Utah residents (ages 25-64), by population group

College enrollment among Utah residents, ages 18-54

Students with “some college, no degree”

Historically, Lumina has lumped those with college certificates into the “some college, no degree” category in its annual reports. With these certificates taken into account, Utah is now 7th in the nation for students with “some college, no degree” (21%).  This is down from an estimated 27% in 2013, mostly due to the 6% of Utahns with certificates are now being counted as students who have completed a credential.


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Trisha Dugovic
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