Skip Navigation

Tennessee at low end of performance spectrum on higher education

October 8, 2002

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education has released its second state-by-state "report card" on higher education, and Tennessee was among the five lowest-scoring states.

Called "Measuring Up 2002," the report grades all 50 states on preparation for college, participation (level of enrollment in postsecondary institutions), affordability, completion (percentage who return for their second year and percentage who graduate in five years) and benefits. The last category considers the percentage of people with a bachelor's degree or higher, percentage of difference in income, and other factors.

Most states received Cs except in affordability—which dropped from a C to a D average.

Members of the independent research group producing the report say they view it largely as a tool for policy makers and higher education officials and express the hope that it will be used to identify problem areas and lobby for changes in state financing. Though their methodologies are criticized by some, they say it provides "the most comprehensive and effective mechanism for comparing higher-education performance across the nation."