Dropout Model Projects Economic Gains if Students Graduate

November 30, 2009 by Emsi Burning Glass

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A couple of months ago, we wrote about an EMSI partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education on creating a model that measures the economic benefits of decreased high school dropout rates. Since then, the Alliance has done more research with the model, and the results are pretty powerful.

The Washington DC-based organization showed that if half the high schools students who dropped out of the class of 2008 (almost 600,000 in the top 50 MSAs in the US) had graduated, they would have earned more than $4.1 billion in additional annual income. The research also found that an average of 65% of the additional graduates would continue their education had they completed their degree.

According to Bob Wise, the Alliance’s president, “These numbers demonstrate clearly that every consumer, business, and taxpayer benefits dramatically when we do what it takes to increase the number of students who graduate from high school with the skills they need to succeed in life. Indeed, the best economic stimulus is a high school diploma.”

You can read more in this Alliance press release.