U.S. Education Under Secretary Highlights Administration’s Efforts to Control Cost of College, Increase Graduation Rates during Town Hall at Montana State University

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U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter will visit Montana State University to host a town hall discussion on college costs on Monday, July 16, at 10 a.m. During the event, Kanter will highlight the Administration’s efforts to help all Americans access and afford higher education – including doubling the number of Pell grant recipients and helping students manage their debt through affordable repayment options, as well as calling on states to invest in higher education. She will also discuss the Administration’s goal for America to be No. 1 in the world in college graduates by 2020 and initiatives that states and institutions could take to boost completion.

Kanter will take questions from the audience after her remarks. A media availability will follow the conversation at 11 a.m.

The event follows Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s remarks to the National Governors Association, during which he praised governors for increasing college completion but also challenged states to maintain support for higher education while urging colleges and universities to hold down tuition. America used to be No. 1 in the world for the percentage of adults with college degrees but has recently slid to 16th. President Obama has called for America to increase the number of degree-holders to 60 percent by 2020.

Last week, the Administration released new numbers showing college attainment state-by-state based on census bureau data from 2009 to 2010. All told, the percentage of 25-34 year olds nationally with some kind of postsecondary degree rose half a percentage point from 38.8 percent to 39.3 percent. In Montana, the percentage of young adults with a college degree rose from 37.1 percent to 40.3 percent during that time. For more information and state-by-state numbers on college attainment, click here: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/new-state-state-college-attainment-numbers-show-progress-toward-2020-goal.