Missouri's College Grad Rates Below National Average

OCTOBER 26, 2006 - Posted at 4:06 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - Missouri's high school graduation rate is a little better than the national average.  But the state falls below the national norm for those getting college degrees.

The Census Bureau says 85.5 percent of Missourians age 25 and older have a high school diploma while the national rate is 85 percent.

But 25 percent have at least a bachelor's degree, while the national rate is 28 percent.

A government report released today shows a $23,000-a-year earning gap between adults with bachelor's degrees and those with high school diplomas.

Nationwide, college grads made an average of $51,000-a-year in 2004, compared with $28,000 for adults with a high school diploma.  High school dropouts earned an average of $19,000 annually and people with advanced college degrees made $78,000.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)