The need to target adult students
The state trails Louisiana and leads only New Hampshire, which ranked dead last, according to 2009 U.S. Census and Education Department data compiled by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The Boulder, Colo., group provides states and institutions with data to help with policy decisions.
Experts say it's perplexing how a state making significant gains enrolling younger adults, including those right out of high school, continues to miss so many adults in their prime earning years.
If Pennsylvania were to raise its share to the national average, 7 percent, it would translate into 72,000 more adults in college.
That's double the total enrollment of the University of Pittsburgh's main and branch campuses or more than half the enrollment of Pennsylvania's 14 state universities.