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States that Raise Their High School Graduation Rates Could Generate Millions More in Higher Wages

Press Release:

States that Raise Their High School Graduation Rates Could Generate Millions More in Higher Wages

mproving state high school graduation rates could produce significant wage increases, resulting in a healthier state economy, according to calculations by the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The Alliance has prepared a state-by-state chart of earnings increases based on cutting in half the percentage of students who do not finish high school in four years. Comparisons are drawn between those who achieve a high school diploma only, those who go on to earn some postsecondary education, and those who earn a bachelor’s degree.

The complete chart is available at the end of this press release.

“There is an important connection between a state’s high school graduation rate and its economic vitality,” says Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Workers with high school diplomas qualify for higher wages. And businesses benefit because they can hire an entry-level workforce prepared to be more productive.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the American worker can expect the following average annual salary, based on education level:

  • High school dropout – $19,000
  • High school graduate, with no postsecondary education – $26,200
  • Associate’s degree — $33,400
  • Bachelor’s degree — $42,200
  • Master’s degree — $52,300
  • Doctoral degree — $70,700
  • Professional degree — $81,500

“With one-third of our students not graduating from high school, and another third graduating without the necessary skills to succeed in college or in the workplace, we face a crisis in this country,” Wise says. “Implementing programs that promote high school graduation is a shrewd investment by any state. The gains realized include higher employment, better wages, and a healthier state economy.”

Increased earnings were calculated using graduation rates data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research using a formula from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, D.C.-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. It is funded by the Leeds Family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the New York Community Trust, as well as by concerned individuals.

State Graduation
Rate
Increase in earnings with diploma Increase in earnings with some post-secondary Increase in earnings with Bachelors
Alabama 58% $94,838,688 $189,677,376 $305,591,328
Alaska 59% $16,888,392 $33,776,784 $54,418,152
Arizona 70% $72,874,080 $145,748,160 $234,816,480
Arkansas 72% $36,669,024 $73,338,048 $118,155,744
California 67% $556,176,456 $1,112,352,912 $1,792,124,136
Colorado 72% $58,731,120 $117,462,240 $189,244,720
Connecticut 79% $32,613,840 $65,227,680 $105,089,040
Delaware 63% $13,923,396 $27,846,792 $44,864,276
Florida 59% $316,541,484 $633,082,968 $1,019,967,004
Georgia 56% $194,919,120 $389,838,240 $628,072,720
Hawaii 63% $21,478,500 $42,957,000 $69,208,500
Idaho 75% $18,505,800 $37,011,600 $59,629,800
Illinois 74% $151,141,536 $302,283,072 $487,011,616
Indiana 72% $83,318,256 $166,636,512 $268,469,936
Iowa 85% $22,000,140 $44,000,280 $70,889,340
Kansas 78% $31,117,680 $62,235,360 $100,268,080
Kentucky 68% $64,510,848 $129,021,696 $207,868,288
Louisiana 63% $85,333,248 $170,666,496 $274,962,688
Maine 75% $14,971,500 $29,943,000 $48,241,500
Maryland 77% $56,860,416 $113,720,832 $183,216,896
Massachusetts 75% $67,201,200 $134,402,400 $216,537,200
Michigan 78% $105,256,008 $210,512,016 $339,158,248
Minnesota 84% $40,212,288 $80,424,576 $129,572,928
Mississippi 60% $57,843,360 $115,686,720 $186,384,160
Missouri 76% $63,926,496 $127,852,992 $205,985,376
Montana 78% $10,814,760 $21,629,520 $34,847,560
Nebraska 83% $15,239,412 $30,478,824 $49,104,772
Nevada 68% $26,706,816 $53,413,632 $86,055,296
New Hampshire 78% $13,120,272 $26,240,544 $42,276,432
New Jersey 89% $34,234,200 $68,468,400 $110,310,200
New Mexico 65% $37,061,640 $74,123,280 $119,420,840
New York 64% $321,300,432 $642,600,864 $1,035,301,392
North Carolina 67% $129,193,812 $258,387,624 $416,291,172
North Dakota 85% $5,235,840 $10,471,680 $16,871,040
Ohio 78% $121,158,576 $242,371,152 $390,399,856
Oklahoma 79% $38,047,968 $76,095,936 $122,599,008
Oregon 71% $47,251,440 $94,502,880 $152,254,640
Pennsylvania 80% $107,393,760 $241,787,520 $346,046,560
Rhode Island 74% $11,703,744 $23,407,488 $37,712,064
South Carolina 53% $107,751,636 $215,503,272 $347,199,716
South Dakota 76% $9,764,928 $19,529,856 $31,464,768
Tennessee 57% $111,717,612 $223,435,224 $359,978,972
Texas 68% $404,055,936 $808,111,872 $1,301,958,016
Utah 78% $28,985,616 $57,971,232 $93,398,096
Vermont 78% $7,140,672 $14,281,344 $23,008,832
Virginia 74% $84,465,576 $168,931,152 $272,166,856
Washington 72% $85,812,048 $171,624,096 $276,505,488
West Virginia 76% $20,788,704 $41,577,408 $66,985,824
Wisconsin 85% $41,396,400 $82,792,800 $133,388,400
Wyoming 73% $8,165,772 $16,331,544 $26,311,932

 

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. It is funded by the Leeds Family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Daniels Fund, and the New York Community Trust, as well as by concerned individuals.

For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.com.

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