Community-Based Attainment Network Expands to 75 Cities

Final 20 cities announced in 75-city community-based attainment network


Looking Back to Move Forward: 

A History of Federal Financial Aid part 3:
Pell Grant: Building Block of Student-Based Aid

Check out our film series on the history of financial aid in America. How did we become so reliant on student loans as the primary means of paying for college? In this ongoing documentary series, we investigate the history of financial aid to direct a reform agenda that brings equity to college access.

Part 3 is now available 

Federal Higher Education Policy:
Momentum or Collision Course?

The president’s proposal to make community college tuition-free is generating a much-needed national dialogue on higher education policy. Lumina President Jamie P. Merisotis looks at how different proposals in Congress could work together to reshape higher education into a more student-centered system. Read Merisotis' op-ed in Roll Call.

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Tracking the Postsecondary Attainment Trend

Each year, Lumina tracks the nation’s progress toward Goal 2025 focusing mainly on the percentage of the nation’s working-age population (ages 25-64) holding a two- or four-year college degree. According to the most recent available data (2012), 39.4 percent of these working-age Americans have a two- or four-year degree — an increase of 0.7 percent from last year’s reported rate of 38.7 percent.

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Tracking Postsecondary Attainment

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What Needs to be Redesigned?

A redesigned postsecondary system must be flexible, affordable and relentlessly focused on quality. Put simply, it must be a student-centered system, one designed to meet the needs of students—all types of students—not just the needs or traditions of institutions. The ultimate goal is to build a learning-based system that offers broad, connected pathways to high-quality credentials for a vast and growing number of Americans—from all walks of life.

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What Needs to be Redesigned


We know that higher education attainment results in greater individual earning power. In fact, a worker with a bachelor's degree earns 84 percent more than a worker without a degree - an average value of $2.8 million over the course of a lifetime. And the value of individual attainment is also key to our national economic prosperity because research shows that more than two-thirds of all U.S. jobs will require a postsecondary degree or credential by 2018.

By providing greater postsecondary access and success for all Americans, we build stronger economies, thriving communities, and a greater quality of life. It's clear that higher education remains the best avenue to prosperity, opportunity and a stronger nation.


Latest Stories


Ensuring Quality, Flexibility and Relevance in Postsecondary Learning

Lumina President and CEO Jamie Merisotis articulates Lumina's vision for the fundamental redesign needed in higher education to get from a system focused on institutions and based on time, to one focused on students and based on learning, at an annual symposium of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.

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Community-Based Attainment Network Expands to 75 Cities

Lumina Foundation announced the final 20 cities in its 75-city community-based attainment network. This work is designed to help communities and regions dramatically increase the number of local residents with postsecondary credentials. Lumina’s focus on community-based attainment began because of the Foundation’s recognition that community-based networks are well-suited to play a role in institutional planning and can provide the implementation and coordination that is necessary to create impact at state and federal levels in order to improve the nation’s higher education system so that it better serves students.

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Increasing college affordability and access must be Ohio's big goal

Lumina President & CEO Jamie Merisotis applauds Governor Kasich's latest budget proposal and challenges the state to adopt an attainment goal to meet the growing demand for talent in Ohio. Read his op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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More About Lumina Foundation

Our Mission and How to Get Involved

What You Can Do

Every American has a role in helping us reach Goal 2025, and we all benefit when we get there. Everyone–from employers to instructors to families–has clear steps to take. And no matter how small, each step toward the goal is essential. Find out how you can contribute to building a stronger nation through higher education.

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What Needs to be Redesigned

Lumina's priority is to fundamentally rethink how higher education is delivered, and what outcomes can be expected from postsecondary completion. Lumina Foundation is leading a national conversation about the disruptive innovations helping to design and build a 21st century system that meets the needs of all students.

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Facts & Figures

Read some key facts on how we can increase levels of educational attainment equitably, through the use of quality data to improve student performance, identify problems, measure progress toward the goal and inform policy and decision making at all levels.

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