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Why Increasing postsecondary attainment is good for our region

Economists have found that each additional percentage point increase in the four-year college attainment rate increases metro per capita income by $1,250. The metro areas with the highest per capita income – such as Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC – have the highest postsecondary attainment rates. These are also the areas that are most competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, bringing in new industries, and performing in a global economy. These areas are the most resilient to economic downturn and adaptive to changes brought about by automation or crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the barriers and challenges that our community will face on our way to 60% are complex and deeply ingrained into our institutions. In addition to addressing the roadblocks that all of our students face as they navigate our postsecondary landscape, we need to contend with the deeply rooted systemic issues that contribute to our stark and unacceptable equity gaps.

Signing the Compact means that you are committing to do the work and change the systems that are preventing more of our students from accessing and thriving in college. It also means that you will be part of a network, made up of our region’s boldest and most innovative leaders, who are working collectively to solve these problems together, and given a framework with measurable, high-impact strategies for moving the needle on our goals.

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