Friday, July 9, 2010

College expenses and financial aid have become increasingly larger considerations for parents and students, driving more qualified students away from enrolling in four-year colleges. Fewer low- and moderate-income high school graduates are attending college in America, and fewer are graduating. Enrollment in four-year colleges was 40% in 2004 for low-income students, down from 54% in 1992, and 53% in 2004 for moderate-income students, down from 59% over the same period. If that trend has continued, low- and moderate-income students who don’t move on to college face an even darker outlook. The unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year olds averaged 17% in 2004, the jobless rate for people over age 25 with just a high school diploma averaged 5% the same year. So far this year, those figures have jumped to 25.8% and 10.6%, respectively.

Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. (2010). The rising price of inequality. Washington, DC: GPO.

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