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Economic Cost of High School Dropouts Estimated

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More than 1.2 million students either dropped out of high school or did not graduate on time in 2004, which could cost the nation more than $325 billion in lost wages, taxes, and productivity over their lifetimes if they do not complete high school, concludes a report.

The report—released by the Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education—is based on an analysis by Princeton University researcher Cecilia Rouse. Her analysis estimates that the lifetime difference in income between a high school graduate and a dropout is about $260,000.

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