Sara Goldrick-Rab, one of a pair of Education Optimists on one of my favorite new blog feeds, has co-authored a new paper, A Federal Agenda for Promoting Student Success and Degree Completion, published by the Center for American Progress.
While the paper starts off pessimistically enough:
Only 40 percent of beginning college students from low-income families complete a two- or four-year degree within six years. Rates of degree completion are much higher among high-income students (62 percent). Focusing on the most lucrative undergraduate degree, the baccalaureate, there is a 40 percentage point gap in completion rates between individuals from the bottom and top income quartiles. Since future economic and social success is largely predicated on holding a college degree, this low chance of college success among the poorest students perpetuates growth in income inequality.
the authors move on to solid proposals for federal policy that could mean reallocation of resources, more substantive curriculum at the high school and college levels, and more financial support for low-income college students.
(And while you’re on their blog, check out their recent Musical Elective of the Week, Great Big Sea, for whom I have tickets in October …)