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Phildelphia skyline as seen from the channel 6 zooballoon at the philadelphia zoo. Credit: Priscilla des Gachons , Priscilla des Gachons

Pennsylvania is one of the least affordable states for higher education, according to a recent report from the Penn Graduate School of Education. 

The Institute for Research on Higher Education, housed in GSE, compared states in the College Opportunity Risk Assessment, the Philly Voice reported. The study ranked Pennsylvania as 48th in the nation for affordability, measured in terms of the percentage of family income that families pay for college even after students receive financial aid.  

The study found that in Pennsylvania, where higher education is one of the least affordable, families devote close to 40 percent of their income to cover higher education costs. 

The study also looked at college opportunity risk, which measures which state in the country is most at risk of denying its students access to higher education. According to GSE, the assessment takes into account factors such as "how a state prepares its high school students, how it engages non-traditional college students, how it supports minority students, and the state’s fiscal health and stability."

For overall opportunity risk, Pennsylvania ranked as 23rd in the nation.

But for education participation among adults, Pennsylvanian came in last among all 50 states. According to the report, just 2.9 percent of students aged 25-64 are enrolled in education programs beyond high school, which is the lowest in the nation. 

And while Pennsylvania ranks relatively high in terms of “completion of college programs in a timely manner," the report still found significant racial disparity in post-secondary completion rates. The city ranked 40th in terms of completion equity between white students and all other minority groups. 

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