Montana leads nation in increasing 2-year degrees
Montana has shown the most improvement among states in recent years in higher-education graduation rates, in part because of its investment in two-year colleges.
According to census data, the number of Montanans with associate, bachelor, master and doctoral degrees increased by 6 percent from 2008 to 2010, totaling 40 percent of state residents.
The rest of the nation averaged an increase of less than 1 percent.
Officials say programs aimed at retaining nontraditional students by offering counseling and tutoring have helped working adults complete their degrees.
They say a state tuition freeze also has contributed to the success.
President Barack Obama has set a national goal of having a 60 percent higher-education graduation rate by 2020.