Question of the Day: What percent of college graduates earn associate degrees?


Millions of college degrees are earned every year. What percent of those are associate degrees?

Answer: 24.9%

A group of students throwing their graduation caps into the air.



  • What pros and cons of pursuing an associate degree do you already know of?
  • Why types of careers are typically accessible with an associate degree?
  • How do you think cost factors into a person’s decision on what kind of degree (if any) to pursue? What about return on investment?
  • If you were to consider an associate degree, what factors would influence your decision? Think about your career goals, financial situation, and personal preferences.


Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (EDI):

Report Highlights. College graduation statistics indicate that bachelor’s degrees are the most sought-after, with 2.066 million conferred in 2021.

  • 49.6% of all college graduates earn bachelor’s degrees.
  • 22.3% of bachelor’s degree-earners take more than four (4) years to complete their program.
  • 24.9% of college graduates earn associate’s degrees.
  • The total number of graduates has increased at an annual rate of 1.7% over the last 10 years.
  • 4.164 million or 22.3% of all college students graduated in 2021.



Want more resources to help your students prepare for their professional journey? Visit NGPF’s Alternatives to 4-Year Colleges unit page.


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the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan grew up with and maintains a love for learning. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration and worked in sports marketing for a number of years. After living in Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Minnesota, the call of education eventually brought Ryan back to his home state of Wisconsin where he was a Business and Marketing teacher for three years. In his free time he likes to spend time with his wife and daughter, play basketball, read, and go fishing. Now with NGPF, Ryan is excited to help teachers lead the most important course their students will ever take.


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