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Educational Attainment

The percent of young adults ages 18 through 24 who have not completed high school, completed high school, completed some college or an associate’s degree, or attained a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Educational Attainment of Young Adults Ages 18 – 24 in Maryland
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Less than high school graduate 17.1% 14.4% 14.2% 14.3% 13.3% 14.2% 13.0% 12.3% 11.7% 12.2%
High school graduate (includes equivalency) 35.0% 36.4% 32.8% 30.7% 31.6% 29.3% 29.2% 29.0% 28.0% 30.4%
Some college or associate’s degree 35.2% 37.0% 40.6% 41.7% 41.6% 43.3% 45.8% 46.5% 47.7% 44.7%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 12.7% 11.8% 12.3% 13.4% 13.5% 13.2% 12.0% 12.3% 12.5% 12.7%

Data Source: Maryland American Community Survey 2005 – 2014, One Year Estimates

Story Behind the Data:

In Maryland, the majority of young adults have at least an associate’s degree or some college credits, and the percent of young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 26% higher in Maryland than in the United States as a whole. While the percentage of young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher in Maryland has remained relatively stable since 2005, the percentage with some college credits or an associate’s degree has risen dramatically.

Maryland students continue to make progress across a number of indicators at the high school level, indicating a greater level of preparedness for higher education.  During SY12-13, for the eighth year in a row, Maryland students again led the nation in the percentage of the high school graduating class who had scored a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam in high school.  In 2015, an all-time high of 87% of the 2015 high school class graduated in four years, and Maryland has demonstrated a continued commitment to preparing students for college and beyond through the rollout of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments.

While more young adults are pursuing higher education, their fields of study are also changing to adapt to the modern economy. As a result, Maryland has sought to provide new opportunities for youth to achieve higher education or engage in STEM through programs like P-TECH and others.