Income-based inequality in educational attainment is cause for lagging college completion rates

A recently released report from the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education concludes that the best way to improve graduation rates is to target low-income students who are currently being underserved by our educational system.  Once a perennial world leader in college completion, the U.S. now ranks 12th out of 36 developed countries in the number of 25-34 year-old adults with some type of college degree.  In a 2009 address to a Joint Session of Congress, President Obama announced his goal for the U.S. to regain this status by 2020.  The report concludes that it is impossible to achieve this goal unless we target federal funding, college access and support services,  and financial aid expenditures toward low-income and underperforming schools.



  1. John Pizzo

    May 23, 2011 at 7:06 am

    What a crock. We already spend more money on educating the “poor” than we do more affluent students. More ‘classified’ students, more violence and school security costs, more ESL classes, more disengaged parents relying on other people to support and provide the needs of their own children.
    Enough !! Look at deep-blue cities and compare the money expended there to money expended elsewhere…..D.C. and Newark, NJ already spend upwards of 20k annually for their “underprivileged” students, and to what purpose: massive failure? I don’t blame those kids, I blame their parents and
    all the greedy school administrators that keep offering the same prescription that has never worked:
    throw more money at the problem. Were it not so serious, it would be laughable. Bring back the FAMILY; government can never replace the benefits an intact family provides.

  2. […] contribution to the UNC system’s successful need-based grants program for in-state students. As NC Policy Watch reports, the U.S., which was once a leader in the number of adults with a college degree, now ranks 12th […]

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