Change Indicator

College graduation, 2016—2021 in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

Graduating college with a degree will help people gain access to higher paying jobs and a person with a credential is less likely to be unemployed. Maine businesses need an educated work force to hire qualified employees. Having a degree is more important than it was thirty years ago in Maine, because of the loss of manufacturing jobs and other employment in industries such as logging.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse , the rate of all Maine high school graduates who complete a college degree within six years was 62.9% in 2021, compared to the national average of 62.2%. See page 5 of Completing College 2022

For the latest year, 2021, Maine graduated 67.8% of those students who enrolled in 4-yr colleges and 38.9% of those enrolled in two-year colleges within a six-year period following high school graduation. (2021 looks at the outcomes of the high school class of 2015.)  The rate of students starting two-year colleges and graduating college was 38.9% in 2021 compared to 33.3% in 2017. In terms of numbers of  graduates, 2016 had the most college graduates at 5,573 compared to 5,161 for 2020, or a decline of 412 graduates or 7.4%. This is due to demographic changes in Maine.
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Definition and Source



This measure shows the number and percent of Maine of recent high school graduates who start in a two-year or four-year college program within two years of high school graduation and subsequently graduate from public and private institutions within 6 years of high school graduation. The numerator is the number of college graduates six years after high school graduation and the denominator is the number who started college within 2 years of graduating high school.

Data Source

National Student Clearinghouse Report run annually for the Maine Department of Education and posted to their Data Warehouse .


Year refers to the year graduating from college, not the year graduating from high school. For example, 2021 data is about the high school graduating class of 2015. The percent is the percent of students who started college within 2 years of high school graduation who graduated college, it is not the percent of high school graduates who obtain a college degree.

Updated June 2022

Last Updated

June 2022