Change Indicator

College graduation, 2016—2022 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 62.3%, exactly the same as the 2022 national average. 

For the latest year, 2022, Maine graduated 68.4% of those students who enrolled in 4-yr colleges and 37.9% of those enrolled in two-year colleges within a six-year period following high school graduation. (2022 looks at the outcomes of the high school class of 2016.)  Data for the previous year was nearly the same. In terms of numbers of graduates, 2016 had 5,573 college graduates compared to 5,193 college graduates for 2022, or a decline of 380 graduates. This is due to demographic changes in Maine. Yet, looking ahead when the high school graduates of 2020 are graduating college, the effect of the pandemic on college graduation will be more apparent. Over 1,000 fewer high school graduates in the classes of 2020 and 2021 enrolled in college, so fewer college graduates in 2026 and 2027 are expected.
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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. See page 16 for denominators and page 26 for numerators.


Year refers to the year graduating from college, not the year graduating from high school. For example, 2022 data is about the high school graduating class of 2016. 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.

Last Updated

August 2023