100 kids start college. Here’s who finishes and why
For millions of poor Americans, getting in to college isn’t the hard part. More people than ever are enrolling in college, yet the overall graduation rate in the U.S. remains low. Only 59 percent of students who entered a four-year college in the fall of 2006 earned a diploma within six years.
Those who fall out of this leaky pipeline are often from lower-income families. Among students who scored between 1200 and 1600 on their SATs, lower-income kids were half as likely to finish college than those whose family incomes put them in the top 25 percent. Poorer students may be forced to take on part-time jobs during college or end up reducing credits to help out at home, among other obstacles.
This infographic traces the progress of 100 students from different income groups who began college in 2002. Lower-income students were more likely to drop out or settle with a two-year associate degree, while upper income students were more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Roughly one-third of students were still enrolled after six years, with those numbers coming equally from all income groups. To interact with the infographic, click here.