Income Inequality Produces Inequalities in College Completion Rates

According to a recent study “Postsecondary Attainment: Difference by Socioeconomic Status,” students in lower socioeconomic groups tend to complete college at lower rates than students from higher socioeconomic groups. The study produced by the Institute on Educational Sciences, finds that:

“Postsecondary education is increasingly seen as an important step for obtaining beneficial long-term occupational and economic outcomes. Lower levels of educational attainment are linked to higher unemployment rates and lower earnings.1 Although an increasing number of students have enrolled in postsecondary institutions over the last several decades, there are still differences in the characteristics of students who complete various levels of postsecondary education. In particular, students from families with a low socioeconomic status (SES) are less likely than those from families with a higher SES to obtain higher levels of postsecondary education.2 This spotlight examines differences in students’ educational attainment by SES, as well as how other variables may differentially relate to students’ educational attainment by SES group (low, middle, and high).”



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