Graduation rates for low-income students lag while their student loan debt soars

The Conversation 

Robert Samuels
April 18, 2024
recent federal study on graduation rates for American colleges and universities shows that 40% of all students did not earn a degree or credential within eight years of leaving high school. The graduation rate is even lower for low-income students.
Among students from families with income levels of US$115,000 or more, 66% who enrolled in higher education earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from 2009 through 2021. However, among students from families who made less than $35,000, 26% earned a bachelor’s degree or higher during the same period. For people whose families had earnings between $35,000 and $55,000, 36% earned these degrees.
Many start but don’t finish
The problem goes beyond the fact that students from lower-income households are entering higher education at a lower rate than high-income students. Rather, the issue is also that fewer low-income students are graduating.