Higher Education System Review in Virginia

Introduction

Virginia is the 10th state of the 50 United States of America, and it was established in 1788. It is located at absolute center at 37o29.3’N and 78o33.8’W.  It has an area of 110771 Square kilometers. Virginia has a population of 8260405 people based on 2013 statistics, and 95 counties (50 States, 2016). Virginia has a credible education system that focuses on promoting education from basic education to tertiary or higher education. The Virginia government has employed various measures to maximize translation of more youths to higher education hoping to improve the state’s level of literacy. This paper evaluates the Virginia higher education performance with regard to the country general performance based on various measures.

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Higher Education Demography in Virginia

The higher education system of Virginia is comprised of 132 universities and colleges. Among them 52 are private for-profit institutions, 40 are private nonprofit schools, while 40 are public institutions. The public institutions include two-year, and four-year higher education institutions. Based on 2013 statistics the Virginia public higher education institutions registered about 320481 fulltime equivalent students (FTE). This is regarded as 13.7% fulltime enrollment increase from the figure recorded in 2008. The total higher education enrollment; both private and public institutions, in Virginia by the end of 2012 was 588,696.  Based on 2010 statistics, 68.4% of Virginia four-year public schools students graduated in six years. This was high compared to 56% graduation rate recorded national wide. The graduation rate of two-year public schools was 18.2% which was lower compared to the national figure of 20.4% (Ballotpedia, n.d.).

Condition of Higher Education in Virginia based on Measuring up Report

Based on the 2008 measuring up report card, Virginia was provided grade B+ in preparation, where more young people were found to join higher education. The eighth graders were said to perform well in reading, science, and math, though with low writing scores. The state scored C in participation, where it was found to contain a fairly high probability of enrolling young people to colleges but low probability of doing the same for working age adults. The level of blacks adults enrolled in college is considerably low compared to that of white.

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However, the number is generally low. The education affordability in the state was graded at F, since the higher education affordability was found to decline with time. The working class and poor families were found to dedicate 31% of their earning on education despite financial aids. Completion was graded at B where the state was found to have fair degrees and certificates awarding compared to the rate of enrollment. The state completion rate was at 63% though the number of blacks was considerably low compared to whites. The state scored an A in benefits where a large number of the state residences have acquired bachelor degree though there is ethnicity gap. There was incomplete analysis on learning due to lack of enough data (Measuring up 2008).

Comparison of the Country Score with National Score

Virginia scored higher than the average national score in preparation, and benefits. It also had a higher score than the national score in four-year public higher education affordability but not in two-year higher education affordability. It recorded a slightly lower score than the national average score in completion, affordability of two-year public higher education, and a tie in participation aspect (Measuring up 2008).

My Opinion Regarding Virginia Measuring Score

Virginia can be said to have an above average performance in all measured aspect. This is based on 2008 evaluation and in my opinion; the assessment could have been highly accurate in most aspects during that time, though I do feels that benefits have been over awarded. The level of those with degrees is still far from 50% and thus, grade A is quite high for the percentages given. However, I believe the situation have since then changed and more improvements have been enhanced since then.

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