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.
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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.