Kentucky's college enrollment trails national rate

Kentucky trails the nation slightly in the percentage of recent high school graduates who enroll in college, and the state needs to help more students go to college and finish two- and four-year degrees, according to a new report by the Southern Regional Education Board.

The Atlanta-based education organization also reported Kentucky beat the regional average in its graduation rate for public two-year colleges.

The conclusions come from a report, Measuring Success by Degrees: The Status of College Completion in SREB States, available at

In Kentucky, 60 percent of students who had finished high school within the previous 12 months enrolled in some type of college in 2008 — lower than the national college enrollment rate of 63 percent for 2008 and up 1 percentage point from 2000 to 2008.

Kentucky had 48 percent of its first-time, full-time college freshmen in 2002 graduate from public four-year colleges and universities by 2008, compared with 55 percent nationally and 53 percent in the 16-state region covered by the education board.

The report also said Kentucky continued to trail the nation and the region in the percentage of working-age adults with a bachelor's degree or higher. Kentucky registered 20 percent, compared with 27 percent in the nation and 25 percent in the region.