Half of High-risk Students Coming Up Empty

"Roughly half of high-risk students are starting college but have nothing to show for it in terms of earnings because they leave without a credential that could command a higher salary," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports.

"Such is one of the key findings of 'The New Forgotten Half and Research Directions to Support Them,' a new report by James Rosenbaum, education professor and chair of the program on poverty, race, and inequality at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

The report — which is meant to update a 1988 report called 'The Forgotten Half,' which probed life chances for students who weren’t going to college — is meant to update that research and sound the alarm for a 'new college reality' regarding students’ chances of completing college.

It is also meant to focus on ways to get more students to pursue alternative options whereby they at least earn a credential even if they never earn a degree, Rosenbaum said in an interview with Diverse. ...

Rosenbaum’s report statistically sketches earnings for students based on whether they started school at a two-year or four-year college. It finds varying payoffs for students who earn credentials that range from graduate degrees to certificates, but no earnings payoff for students who have completed 'some college.'

'Our most striking finding is that many community college students attain no credentials,' the report states. 'Although many community college students have discovered and attained sub-baccalaureate credentials, almost half (46 percent) have no credential eight years after high school.'"

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Publication Date: 2/3/2015

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