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BATON ROUGE, LA. -- Louisiana ranks last in the nation in the percentage of residents between 25 and 64 years of age with two-year degrees, largely because the Bayou State was one of the last states to embrace the community-college concept.
The Louisiana Community and Technical College System wasn't created until 1999, but it's trying to make up for lost time by reaching out to the thousands of former Louisiana college students who dropped out without a degree or certificate. The Bayou State has traditionally had one of the highest college dropout rates in the nation.
Only 12 of 100 Louisiana high-school freshmen earn a college diploma, and the Louisiana board of regents estimates that some 212,000 students have dropped out of college since 1990.