A study was released this week by the Senator George Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute.
It shows that from 2001 to 2005, the number of Mainers who left high school with plans to attend college increased, but fewer actually enrolled.
The study’s based on interviews with students at 20 high schools, and surveys of more than 3,000 educators, parents, students and young adults.
It says 64% of seniors graduating in 2001 said they planned to attend college, compared with 70% in 2005. But actual enrollment dropped from 62% to 57%.
The figures come out as Maine continues to lag behind the rest of the region and country in college degrees attained by adult residents.
Last year, 26.9% of Mainers 25 or older had bachelor’s degrees. The rate for the other five New England states was 35 percent, and the national average was 28 percent.
The Mitchell institute also points out that Maine has a better-than-average high school graduation rate.