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Economic Cost of High School Dropouts Estimated

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If all students in the class of 2006 had graduated on time, the nation's economy would have gained an additional $309 billion in income over their lifetimes, concludes a report by the Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, high school graduates in 2004 earned almost $10,000 more than those who did not graduate from high school. Also, dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, go to prison, and seek government assistance—all factors that drain the economy.

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