AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - A new state report says that Massachusetts leads the nation in the number of young people it sends to college.
There are nine state universities in Massachusetts and five campuses of the University of Massachusetts. The state's Department of Higher Education says more than half of all undergraduate students in Massachusetts attend a public college or university.
A new state report says educators are doing a better job in making sure they graduate, with graduation rates at UMass Lowell and Framingham State University increasing. UMass Lowell's six-year graduation rate increased almost 10% in the last five years.
Those who live near UMass Lowell say they have noticed the changes.
“I live about four miles from Lowell,” Mike Decker said. “They've added so many new courses, they've added so many new buildings, they've added about 4,000 more students. They've taken over the city, quite frankly.”
“There were a lot of super seniors when I was graduating, but for the majority, all of my friends graduated on time,” UMass alum Troy Mercier said.
The report also found that colleges are addressing a shortage in high-skilled graduates. State researchers predict that by 2020, public campuses will produce 35,000 fewer graduates in the science, technology, and math fields.