A new report by the Center for Economic Research in Tennessee (CERT) showcases the economic benefits of higher education to communities across the state as well as the additional earning and revenues upon the Drive to 55 achievement. The conclusion of the report states that on average, individuals will earn more with every type of postsecondary degree than those with only a high school degree.

Drive to 55 was launched in 2013 and its goal is to make certain that 55 percent of our population has a degree or certificate by 2025. Gov. Bill Haslam introduced the Drive to 55 because he knew that a better educated, highly skilled workforce will have a result of high quality jobs, growth in personal income and improvement in the quality of life for Tennesseans.

With the help of the Drive to 55 program, Tennessee is now the leading state in the nation for high school seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Students Aid (FAFSA). Out of all of the new FAFSA applications submitted in the United States in 2015, 40 percent of them came from Tennessee. Tennessee has also had a 10.1 percent increase of first-time freshman enrollment at public institutions between Fall 2014 and Fall 2015.

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