When it comes to educational attainment, Indiana is among the worst in the U.S.

The quality of education in Indiana is on the better side, it's just that fewer people are getting it compared to other states.

In a new study grading the Most & Least Educated States in the America from online financial services website WalletHub, Indiana ranked toward the bottom of the nation in terms of its education level.

Indiana ranked 38th out 50 states overall, finishing ahead of only Deep South states notorious for poor education systems and a handful of others.

The state ranked ahead of Kentucky (45th), but behind neighbors Ohio (35th), Michigan (27th) and Illinois (12th).

WalletHub scored states on two overall metrics — educational attainment and quality of education — with Indiana scoring poorly for the former but well on the latter.

Indiana was 40th overall for educational attainment, which scored states based on rates of residents with a high school diploma, some college, bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees.

For quality of education, Indiana was actually among the better states, ranking 10th overall. That category scored states on factors such as quality of school systems, quality of university systems, percentage of students enrolled in top universities, public high school graduation rates, AP exam scores, and educational gaps based on race and gender.

Massachusetts was rated No. 1 in the study, followed by other Northeast states including Maryland, Connecticut and Vermont rounding out the Top 4.

West Virginia was rated the nation's worst at 50, but the Deep South as a region was overall the lowest rated with Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama taking spots 49 through 46.

But, as has been shown in numerous studies over the years, educational attainment is strongly correlated with income.

WalletHub charted educational attainment against median annual household income and the result shows that higher-attaining states were generally those with better household income, while poorer states almost exclusively fell on the low end of the spectrum.

That disparity can fuel an ongoing cycle, as people with higher education are likely to earn better wages over their lifetime, which in turn may position future generations to obtain better education and so on.

"For millions of Americans, a good education is the ticket to a better future. College opens doors to more career opportunities, higher earnings and new social connections, among other benefits. But how much schooling one receives also matters to some extent. Generally, the higher the level of education one completes, the higher their income potential and the lower their chances of unemployment become," WalletHub stated in its study.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 14.2% of Hoosiers have less than a high school education, while 35.5% have a high school degree or equivalent, 39.6% have some college or an associate's degree and only 10.7% have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Those degrees are also strongly correlated with better earnings, with the median earning for all Hoosiers sitting at $39,833.

Hoosiers with less than a bachelor's degree, however, are making below that median amount with earnings of $27,765 for those with less than high school education, $32,101 for those with a high school degree and $37,154 for people with some college or associate's degree.

Earnings are significantly higher for people with four-year college degrees or higher, however. Hoosiers with a bachelor's degree pull in $50,630 at median, while graduate degree earnings are $65,941 at the median.
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