Ohio's baccalaureate attainment remains below the US average and in the middle of the pack of its neighboring states.
The nation's high school-age population - the near-term source of most colleges' and universities' future enrollment - is shrinking, and Ohio's is shrinking faster than the nation.
The newest federal projections show a continuing lag in Ohio public high school graduates, the major source for new students in all of Ohio's colleges and universities.
Despite Ohio's improvement in the educational attainment of its citizens, the gap between the state and the U.S. as a whole has become only marginally smaller.
Although students attending independent colleges are the most mobile, half attend within an hour's drive of home.
Each member of Ohio's congressional delegation represents at least 2,300 undergraduates attending an independent college in the state, and seven of the 16 members represent at least 5,000 undergrads.
As Ohio remains among the top states in high school graduation rates and attainment level, the reasons why it continues to lag the nation in college-level attainment need further study.
Relative to the nation, Ohio has more business and education degree holders; fewer in the humanities and social sciences; and about the same in the STEM fields.
The second largest segment of Ohio's population, measured for educational attainment, remains the more than 1.6 million (more than 1/5 of the state's adults) who have no degree to show for their investment in higher education.
Ohio and all its adjacent states continue to lag the US average for adults above age 25 with bachelor's or higher degrees.
College readiness, as measured by standardized test scores, has been stagnant.
Consistent with previous studies on migration, Ohio's principal demographic issue is not that its educated residents are leaving, but that few from other states are moving in.
Ohio residents as a share of full-time undergraduates at independent colleges have dropped two percentage points since 2010.
Projections of high school graduates in Ohio (potential traditional-age college students) show a continued drop that turns precipitous a decade from now.
Metropolitan areas in Ohio - the shaded counties represent each city's metropolitan survey area - vary considerably in the adult population's educational attainment, with Columbus leading the way.
Newly published data supports the view that a generational shift in students' attitude toward college as technical or occupational training has occurred.
The recovery from the current drop in Ohio public high school graduates will be small and brief.
Ohio continues to lag the nation as a whole in the educational attainment of its citizens, and trails two of its adjoining states.
Despite increased enrollments and graduations, Ohio's baccalaureate attainment gap has increased over the last two decades.
New federal projections continue to predict a significant drop in the number of Ohio public high school graduates in the next decade.
The appeal of Ohio's independent colleges extends from coast to coast.
Each Ohio state senator represents at least 1,000 undergraduates attending Ohio's independent colleges, and for some the number is more than three times higher.
Ohio's independent colleges, while attractive to out-of-state students, provide education to Ohioans at all academic levels.
This drop is even higher - 13 percent - when measured against the peak of high school graduations in the state, which was just two years ago.
Every one of Ohio's 99 state representatives has more than 100 undergraduates at in-state independent colleges from her or his district, and many have 1,000 or more.
One in five adult Ohioans have invested time and money in a college education but have no degree to show for it.
As larger numbers of younger women enter and complete graduate school, their overall share of those with advanced degrees have rapidly increased.
With their many religiously based institutions, Ohio's independent colleges are well suited to meet the desires of "Millennials" - including all of the traditional college-age populations - for a more spiritual life.
A report by the Pew Research Center confirms, as did Gov. Taft's Committee on Higher Education and the Economy, that Ohio has not been an attractive destination for interstate migration, even as it has been able to retain those who were born here.
A more detailed explanation of states' "stickiness" and "magnetism" is available at the AICUO weblog, www.aicuoblog.blogspot.com, including a link to the full report and a clever interactive display of the raw data.
Although a small group for now, speakers of Spanish, whether born here or elsewhere, represent Ohio's fastest-growing demographic, now totaling more than 300,000 residents.
The "better half" is now the better-educated half of US married couples.
Actual graduations from Ohio public high schools have, so far, been somewhere between the various federal projections. This leaves some question whether the expected long-term rebound from the most recent projection will actually occur.
New federal projections continue to predict a significant drop in the number of Ohio public high school graduates in the next decade. However, a slight rebound is forecast toward the end of the period, a welcome change from prior models.
Demographic changes pose both threats and opportunities to higher education, as even Ohio's neighbors show considerable variation in the rate of change in high school graduations.
Ohio has made considerable progress in access to college for traditional-age students, as the percentage of nonth-graders enrolling in college a year after finishing high school has nearly doubled over the last two decades.
The supply for traditional-age college students will dry up even faster in Ohio than for the region as a whole (see Midwest regional chart by scrolling down at http://www.aicuo.edu/GraphArchives.aspx). By 2012, there will be one-ninth fewer graduates from the state's high schools than there are this year.
New projections continue to show that high school graduations in the midwestern states will fall precipitously after this year's class.
Regardless of how well you did on your ACT - even if your school doesn't require the ACT - you're much more likely to graduate on time at an AICUO member institution.
Although Ohio's youger population is increasingly better educated, the state still has work to do just to even reach the nation's average.
Population Projection for 18- to 24-Year-Olds
It's not just the baby boom that's making Ohio Older.
As fewer Ohioans in the future will be of "traditional" college age, colleges and universities will need to add a new focus on adult learners.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Public High School Graduates in Ohio- Actual and Projected to 2016
By 2010, the number of new high school graduations in Ohio will begin a precipitous decline. Where will the new college students come from?
Source: National Center for Education Statistics