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Poverty And Post Secondary Education Essay

1368 words - 5 pages

As Nelson Mandela once proclaimed, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Unfortunately, some students do not have the chance to take part in a college education. Not receiving a post-secondary education is a rising issue among those below the poverty line in the United States. In 2010, eighty-two percent of high income students continued their education into college; while in contrast, only fifty-two percent of students living in poverty had the opportunity to receive their college education. Poverty can be defined as having little to no money, goods, or means of support. Living below the line of poverty is an ongoing struggle for at least fifteen million young adults nation-wide, according to the Institute for Higher Education Policy. This accounts for at least forty-four percent of young adults. Currently, one person out of every four people living in poverty as an adult has earned their college degree; but somehow cannot escape the life of poverty, while eighteen percent of adults living in poverty dropped out of high school without even earning a GED or an equivalent degree (Low-Income). According to the New York State Department of Labor 2010 statistics, an individual with a Bachelor’s Degree will earn over fifty thousand dollars more per year than an individual who has only completed high school (Smith). Earning a college degree will not ensure escaping the life of poverty; however, it provides a solution to escape that lifestyle and gives an opportunity to move on to a more successful life that those living in poverty have only dreamed of.
The Department of Education organized a longitudinal study to track eighth graders until they reached the age of twenty-six to study how they progressed through high school, post-secondary school, and into the job market based on their family’s income. The results from this study show that students from low income households have a significantly lower chance of receiving a bachelor degree than those coming from higher income households, which one could probably assume. Even the students that preformed at the top of their class in eighth grade, but lived in low income households had less than thirty-three percent chance of completing college (Roy). This astonishing fact proves that even the highest achieving students still do not have a guarantee of receiving a college education, if their parents have no way to afford it. Another study, conducted by the National Student Clearninghouse Research Center, tracked two million, three hundred thousand people from high school into college to track their performance while in college based on where they attended college. They found that low income students from lower income high schools tended to wait a couple years before enrolling in college while high income students attending higher income high schools enrolled in college the fall semester after graduating high school. Out of these participants, twenty-two thousand,...

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