Publications Detail


Higher Education in Tennessee
June 2015

Higher Education Policy Portal

The Tennessee Higher Education policy portal includes a variety of information, research, and analysis related to higher education in Tennessee. The webpage will include related maps and publications from OREA, with a focus on higher education initiatives aimed at increasing the number of individuals with a postsecondary credential, such as the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs. This page will be updated to reflect the most current data available.

Tennessee Higher Education Institutions by Legislative District



This map displays Tennessee's higher education institutions overlaid on a map of House and Senate legislative districts. Public, private, two-year, and four-year institutions are included.

Higher Education Attainment Rates by County



This map illustrates educational attainment across Tennessee’s 95 counties. The map includes the college going rate and educational attainment data.

The information presented represents the most recent data available for each indicator at the county level.

Please Note: The attainment rate figures included in this map do not account for certificate-holders in Tennessee. A study from the Center for Business and Economic Research at UT-Knoxville estimates four percent of Tennesseans hold a certificate from a postsecondary institution.

Definitions (drop-down boxes):

College Going Rate

The college going rate measures the number of high school graduates that enroll in community college, university, in-state, out-of-state, public or private institutions the following year (e.g., a student who graduates in spring 2015 and enrolls in college the following summer or fall of 2015). The data represented here reflects the 2014-15 school year.

Attainment Rate

This metric illustrates the education level of the residents by county based on the 2011-2015 Five-Year American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The education attainment rate is illustrated as a percentage of the county population, ages 25 years and older, and is measured in the following categories: less than 9th grade, 9-12th grade (no diploma), high school diploma (includes equivalency), some college (no degree), associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and graduate/professional degree.

Data sources: U.S. Census Bureau and Tennessee Higher Education Commission

Updated December 2016



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