A new report spells out the economic benefits that would come to individuals—and the entire nation—if the United States were to cut its dropout rate in half.
According to the report, if half of the 1.3 million students who dropped out of the class of 2010 had instead earned a high school diploma last year, they could collectively boost their annual earnings on average by $7.6 billion. That translates to an additional $5.6 million a year in spending and $2 billion in investments, according to the new calculations from the Washington-based Alliance for Excellent Education and State Farm Insurance, based in Bloomington, Ill.
By the midpoint of their careers, the report adds, those new graduates would likely purchase homes worth a total of $19 billion more than they would have spent had they not earned a diploma.
A version of this article appeared in the March 30, 2011 edition of Education Week as Graduation Rates