Lumina Foundation’s metrics

As an organization focused on results, Lumina Foundation uses a set of national metrics to guide our work, measure our impact and monitor the nation’s progress toward Goal 2025. These national metrics focus on the factors that we believe are critical to increasing attainment and are the target of our work.

These metrics include awareness, enrollment, persistence and completion. Each was designed with a numerical benchmark and a target date (i.e., the end of Lumina’s current 2013-2016 strategic plan).

  • Awareness: Increase the percentage of Americans who believe it is important to increase the proportion of Americans with a degree or credential beyond high school to 62 percent by 2015.
  • Enrollment: Increase total higher education enrollment to 18.77 million by 2015.
  • Persistence: Increase the persistence rate of current students from first year to second year to 70 percent by 2015.
  • Completion: Increase the overall annual higher education completion rate for students to 57 percent and the degrees awarded to 3 million by 2015.

To focus attention on attainment gaps, each metric is broken down, where possible, by age and race/ethnicity. Performance on each metric is reported for the most recent year that data are available and for the three preceding years in our current four-year strategic plan.


2012 2013 2014 2015
Overall 43% 51% 61% 58%
Hispanic N/A N/A 72% 71%
African American N/A N/A 74% 70%
White N/A N/A 56% 54%
Ages 18-34 N/A N/A 63% 55%
Ages 35-64 N/A N/A 59% 59%
Source: 2015 Gallup/Lumina Poll


2011 2012 2013 2014
Overall 16.2M 16M 15.4M 15.2M
Ages 18-24 11.5M 11.5M 11.2M 11.1M
Ages 25-54 4.3M 4.1M 3.8M 3.7M
Hispanic 2.6M 2.7M 2.7M 2.8M
African-American 2.5M 2.5M 2.4M 2.3M
Native American 104K 100K 90K 84K
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Society 1-Year Public Use Microdata Samples


2012 2013 2014 2015
Overall 69.2% 68.8% 68.7% 69.6%
Age 20 or younger 77% 76.5% 76% 76.3%
Age 24 or older 50.6% 49.4% 48.6% 49.3%
Source: National Student Clearinghouse 2015


2012 2013 2014 2015
Overall 54% 56.1% 55% 52.9%
Age 20 or younger* 56.8% 59.8% 59.3% 58.6%
Age 24 or older* 42.1% 43.5% 42.1% 39.2%
Associate/bachelor's degrees awarded ** 2.7M 2.8M 2.9M 2.9M

*Source: National Student Clearinghouse 2015

**Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Completion Survey, 2013-14 from applying published standards to Census Bureau data.


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