Virginia Scores Well on Report Card for Higher Ed.

Posted: December 5, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

An independent research group last week released the results of a first-ever attempt to grade all 50 states on how well they deliver higher education. The findings were mixed: no state received straight As; some had several poor grades; and most were average with Cs and Bs. Overall, Virginia did well, as it received B’s in all categories except affordability, in which it received a C.

The report, as conducted by the National Center for Public Policy, was divided into five categories: preparation, participation, affordability, completion, and benefits. Following is a breakdown of how Virginia fared in each one:

  • Preparation, Grade B. A very large proportion of young adults in Virginia earn a high school diploma or a GED by age 24; many 11th and 12th graders do well on Advanced Placement tests.
  • Participation, Grade B-. A large proportion of young adults (ages 18–24) and working-aged adults (ages 25–44) are enrolled in educational programs beyond high school.
  • Affordability, Grade C. Virginia’s performance is mediocre on the share of family income required, after financial aid, to attend the state’s public four-year colleges. Virginia’s investment in financial aid for low-income families is low, compared to top states.
  • Completion, Grade B. A fairly high percentage of first-time, full-time college students earn a bachelor’s degree within five years of enrolling.
  • Benefits, Grade B+. A very large proportion of Virginia’s residents have bachelor’s degrees, and this substantially strengthens the state’s economy.

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education plans to produce another national report card in 2002. Additional information about this report is available at

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