Arizona: The Return on Investment to Increasing Postsecondary Credential Attainment

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Arizona 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 Arizona, the current rate is 35.1%.
  • Arizona ranks 4th 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 910,539 degrees by 2025.
  • By achieving rates of the top-performing states, Arizona can produce 286,000 bachelor’s degrees, 202,000 associate degrees and nearly 276,000 certificates by 2025.


Meeting Top Performance 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 Arizona is projected to increase by about $300 in 2025.
  • By meeting top performers, annual per capita income would increase significantly more, by approximately $1,500 in 2025.



Meeting Top Performance Produces Significant Economic Returns to the State

Status quo produces small returns

Under current postsecondary investment patterns, Arizona’s state revenues will increase by about $269 million in 2025.

 Meeting top performance pays off

By meeting top performance, Arizona will generate more annual revenue, topping $1.4 billion in 2025.

State Revenues Catch Up to Postsecondary Costs When Top Performance is Met

Status Quo: Costs exceed revenues

Under current postsecondary investment patterns, Arizona’s postsecondary costs exceed state revenues by about $195 million by 2025.

Top performance: Revenues catch up to costs

By meeting top performance, Arizona’s revenues – about $1.4 million in 2025 – catch up to postsecondary costs – about $1.6 million.

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