The Coordinating Commission’s fourth annual Measuring Accomplishments report indicates that Nebraska is a high performer in several postsecondary education measures but still has work to do to reach the state’s goal of being among the top ten performing states in educational attainment, preparation, enrollment, graduation, and affordability.
- Nebraska ranks 9th for its high school graduation rate and 5th for the percentage of ACT-tested high school graduates who met or exceeded all four ACT college readiness benchmarks
- Nebraska ranks 8th best for its state and local tax support for public higher education per full-time equivalent student
- Nebraska ranks 12th and 9th, respectively, for lowest percentage of family income needed to pay for full-time enrollment in two-year and four-year colleges for median-family-income students, but comes in at 11th and 20th in the same measures for students from families in the lowest income quintile
- For adults ages 25-34, Nebraska ranks 10th for the percentage who have at least an associate’s degree and 14th for those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, though a large gap exists in attainment for white Nebraskans compared to African-American and Hispanic Nebraskans
- For adults ages 25-64, Nebraska ranks 13th for the percentage who have at least an associate’s degree and 19th for those who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, with somewhat smaller but still unacceptably large differences in attainment for white Nebraskans compared to African-American and Hispanic Nebraskans
- Nebraska ranks in the top 20 state for percentage of high school graduates going directly to college and for students who start at a public college or university and complete a credential within six years
- Nebraska is in the bottom 25 states for students who complete a bachelor’s degree in four years and for state-funded, need-based financial aid per full-time equivalent student
At the campus level, Nebraska’s public colleges and university campuses generally perform well compared to their peer institutions and meet the Comprehensive Plan's goals. High points include six-year graduation rates for both first-time and transfer students, lower average debt for graduates, and higher state and local tax support for the institutions, which manifests in lower net tuition than at most peer institutions. Room for improvement was noted for on-time bachelor’s degree completion.
Statewide and institutional goals are laid out in the Commission’s Comprehensive Statewide Plan for Postsecondary Education. Adoption and periodic revision of the plan, which is intended to achieve the best possible use of state resources for high quality and accessible postsecondary education, are constitutional duties of the Commission. The Commission reviewed the fourth annual report at its December 12, 2019 meeting.