Two years ago, President Obama announced plans to make the USA a leading country in the international education race by 2020. Many people were excited for this hope to become reality, but it seems like we might be slipping farther away from our goal.
According to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, less Americans are completing their college education than young adults in other countries. This has made us fall from 12th to 16th place in the share of young adults (ages 25-34) who have earned a degree. The countries who are leading the race in this younger demographic are South Korea, Canada, and Japan.
Why is America slipping behind other countries in college attainment rates? There are two explanations for this. One is that more and more people are attending college in Asia and Europe than ever before. Another factor is that these foreign nations focus on education degrees that take less time to complete; instead of the four-year plans that many college in the USA follow, colleges in other countries offer many one-year or two-year degree plans.