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The Graduation Effect: High School Graduation Rates and Their Effect on the American Economy

Graduation Effect


The Graduation Effect: High School Graduation Rates and Their Effect on the American Economy

Lillian M. Lowery
, Vice President for P–12 Policy and Practice, The Education Trust
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education
Gilbert Zavala, Vice President of Education and Talent Development, Austin Chamber of Commerce

On May 17, 2018, All4Ed held a webinar on the Graduation Effect. The national high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but far too many high school students, especially students of color and students from low-income families, never make it to Graduation Day. Some students who do graduate receive a low-quality diploma that does not prepare them for future success. Lacking a high-quality high school diploma, students are frequently shut out of postsecondary education and training that is required for a good job in today’s economy.

During this webinar, the Alliance for Excellent Education released new economic data demonstrating how increasing the high school graduation rate to 90 percent will lead to higher earnings for individuals, as well as new job creation and overall economic growth that benefit local communities, states, and the nation. Business, community, and education leaders will see the direct economic impact for their states and metropolitan areas, broken down by various demographic groups.

In addition, a panel of key leaders in education, equity, and business, discussed how to provide a high-quality education to all students and what meeting such a goal would mean for the country—how individual lives would be transformed, communities would be strengthened, and the nation’s economy would be enriched.

Supplemental Materials:

Please direct questions concerning the webinar to If you are unable to watch the webinar live, an archived version will be available at 1–2 business days after the event airs.

The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those underperforming and those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.

If you are interested in renting the Alliance’s facilities for your next meeting or webinar, please visit our facilities page to learn more.

Categories: Economic Impacts

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Every Child a Graduate. Every Child Prepared for Life.