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3 Statistically-Proven Statements About High School Dropouts

So here’s the unfortunate–but unavoidable–truth:  Not everyone finishes high school. In 2014, 6.5% of our nation’s high school population of 50,468,456 students dropped out or failed to graduate. And in 2017, the average high school dropout rate was 4.7%, contrasting with 3.5% in 2007.

Some dropout by circumstance. Some dropout by choice. Life may throw unexpected curves during your road to a diploma. But it may be in your benefit to stay the course and finish high school, especially if there are customized alternative routes. 

high school dropouts go back to school

A lack of a diploma or GED can have unfortunate yet avoidable adverse effects on your life.  Here are three statistically-proven statements about high school dropouts. 

Dropouts earn less and are more likely to need government assistance.

If you don’t have a high school education, there are statistically less high-earning jobs available. Studies show that dropouts will earn $200K less than high school graduates during their lifetime, and they are estimated to earn almost $1M less than those with bachelor’s degrees.

Additionally, high school dropouts are three times more likely to be unemployed than graduates. They’re also twice as likely to live in poverty and require government assistance as someone who graduated from high school.  For most everyone, graduating and having a good job comes with more benefits than just a bigger paycheck. Take a look at statistic three.

With the number of resources available–from credit recovery to online classes–there is always the option to finish high school, earn what you deserve to earn, and make opportunities more readily available.

Minorities are statistically more likely to drop out of high school.

While the percentage of graduating Latino students has significantly increased from 61.4% to 71.4%, Asian-American and white students are still far more likely to graduate than Latino & African-American students. 

91.7% of all African Americans ages 18 to 24 in 2014 had completed high school compared to 94.2 percent of Whites. Only 73% of African American students received a high school diploma within four years of starting the ninth grade. For Caucasians, 87% completed high school within the standard four-year period.

Statistically, high school dropouts live shorter, less fulfilling lives.

empty high school

Statistics show that dropouts have a life expectancy of nine years less than graduates. That is nearly a decade less, full of mixed experiences and quality years with family and friends.  

Columbia University economics and education professor Henry Levin says the research shows a significant investment in education could save money and lives in the long run:

“If we were to increase the high school completion rate by just one percent for all men 20 to 60, it could save the US up to 1.4 billion a year and reduce costs from crime alone. And that’s just a one percent improvement.”

Henry Levin

You Don’t Need To Be A Dropout

It has never been easier or more accessible to get your high school diploma. But 75% of high school dropouts never participated in an alternative program or school. You don’t have to become a statistic.
Fairborn Digital Academy has the power to help you succeed at your own pace. While the statistics seem to be against you, the Fairborn team is ready to help you overcome any challenges. One by one, students can get back to class and back on track. Learn more about Fairborn’s programs.

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