New study reveals numbers for Arizona college graduates

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A new study reveals half of Arizona's public high school's saw only five percent of recent graduates earn a bachelors degree. 

While the number of public high school graduates appears to be improving, only a few of those students are now earning four year degrees.

The Arizona Board of Regents followed recent grads from public high schools in 2005 and 2006 for several years.  They found that while 57 percent of those Arizona students went to college only 19 percent of them actually graduated.

Here are more numbers from the report:

6 percent graduated from a two-year institution or trade school

19 percent earned a four year degree

32 percent attended some college but did not graduate

44 percent attended no college

It is hard to compare Arizona to the entire nation, since only a few states have made similar studies.  Since these numbers came as a shock to local educators who said the low numbers should be a call-to-action to boost college graduation rates.  They suggested tougher curriculum and more outreach from colleges to local high schools.

Tucson News Now spoke to Pima Community College who stated there has been a record number of graduates that are getting associates degrees; the last year alone has seen a 15 percent increase.

Researchers believe the poor economy and a lack of jobs drove a lot of people to go back to school and get a degree.

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