Missouri: The Return on Investment to Increasing Postsecondary Credential Attainment

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Missouri 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 Missouri, the current rate is 35.8%.
  • Missouri ranks 25th among 50 states in the size of the credential increase it needs to achieve annually. To meet the 60% goal, it will need to produce an additional 512,216 degrees by 2025.
  • By achieving rates of the top-performing states, Missouri can produce about 184,000 bachelor’s degrees, 189,000 associate degrees and 60,000 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 Missouri is projected to decrease by about $60 in 2025.
  • By meeting top performers, annual per capita income would increase significantly more, by approximately $1,200 in 2025.



Meeting Top Performance Produces Significant Economic Returns to the State

Status quo produces negative returns

Under current postsecondary investment patterns, Missouri’s
state revenues will decrease by about $40 million in 2025.

Meeting top performance pays off

By meeting top performance, Missouri will generate more annual revenue, topping approximately $830 million in 2025.

State Revenues Exceed Costs When Top Performance is Met

Status Quo: Revenues lower than cost

Under current postsecondary investment patterns, Missouri’s revenues are about $30 million below costs.

Top performance: Revenues exceed costs

By meeting top performance, Missouri’s revenues exceed postsecondary costs by about $590 million by 2025.

This analysis was prepared using the CLASP-NCHEMS Return on Investment Dashboard tool.  See clasp2022.tealmedia.dev/ROIdashboard