Federal education official visits UW-Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Federal education official visits UW-Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The U.S. Under Secretary of Education paid a visit to UW-Madison on Tuesday, to talk with students and educators about how to provide all Americans with better access to higher education.

President Obama has set a goal to lead the world in college graduation rates by 2020. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter says at the nation's 7,200 colleges and universities, just 50 percent of students actually make it to graduation. UW's graduation rate is 89 percent.

Kanter says getting more people interested in attending and completing college would stabilize the country's tax base.

"If you have more education you will earn more and you will pay more taxes, and when you pay more taxes by the function of how much you earn, you will have a better economic future for the country as a whole," says Kanter.

Kanter says community development and economic prosperity suffers with fewer people earning degrees, so the Obama administration is working on ways to make college more accessible, like partnering with states to fund pell grants and loan programs.

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