Alaska: The Return on Investment to Increasing Postsecondary Credential Attainment

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Alaska Must Improve College Participation and Credential Attainment Rates to Remain Competitive

  • To remain globally competitive, the U.S. and each state should ensure that at least 60% of adults ages 25 to 64 have an associate or bachelor’s degree by 2025. In Alaska, the current rate is 37.3%.
  • Alaska ranks 2nd among 50 states in the size of the degree gap it needs to fill. To meet the 60% goal, it will need to produce an additional 84,166 degrees by 2025.
  • By achieving rates of the top-performing states, Alaska can produce about 26,000 bachelor’s degrees, nearly 17,000 associate degrees and 8,000 certificates by 2025.


Meeting Top Performers Produces Significant Personal Economic Return


Per capita income increases when the state meets top performers

  • Under current postsecondary investment patterns, annual personal per capita income in Alaska is projected to decrease by about $60 in 2025.
  • By meeting top performers, annual per capita income would increase significantly more, by approximately $1,100 in 2025.



Meeting Top Performance Produces Significant Economic Returns to the State

Status quo produces negative returns

Under current postsecondary investment patterns, Alaska’s
state revenues will decrease by about $5 million in 2025.

Meeting top performance pays off

By meeting top performance, Alaska will generate more annual revenue – approximately $100 million in 2025.

State Revenues Exceed Costs When Top Performance Goal is Met

Status Quo: Costs and revenues

Under current postsecondary investment patterns, Alaska’s postsecondary costs decline to about -$28 million in 2025, but
so do revenues – to about -$5 m.

Meet top performance: Revenues increase, so do costs.

By meeting top performance, revenues increase, but so do costs. Costs outpace revenues due to the state’s lack of both income and sales taxes.

This analysis was prepared using the CLASP-NCHEMS Return on Investment Dashboard tool.  See