Creating Education Equality in Kentucky

Last Updated:
March 17, 2024
Brian Wallace

Kentucky is gearing up to improve the lives of the state’s residents with higher education. By 2030, leaders are aiming to provide 60% of the population with a post-secondary credential. The rationale for this push stems from the fact that college graduates with a bachelor’s degree tend to have a better financial livelihood by earning $1 million more over the course of their lifetime compared to those who have a high school educational history. 


Since enacting this initiative, there has been a 7% increase in undergraduate degrees and credential completions. In addition, there has also been a 26% increase in enrollment at public institutions and 34% increase in degrees and credentials awarded to underrepresented minorities. Also, Kentucky is already reaching a 55% attainment rate across the state, which is already close to their goal. There has been a lot of progress that has been made in the last five years, but Kentucky is still about 8% below the national average in baccalaureate degree attainment. 


There have been several approaches taken to drive this growth surrounding college degrees obtained within Kentucky. Supporting student’s basic needs is one of the most important initiatives, as 60% of students nationally struggle with basic needs insecurity. Ensuring that college students have stable housing and food can close completion gaps greatly, as only 2 out of 10 students who pause their education for financial reasons return to complete their credential. Transfer pathways from community colleges to  four-year universities also have been improved, rising graduation rates for minority groups especially.

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

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