The finan­cial ram­i­fi­ca­tions of drop­ping out of high school hurt more than the indi­vidual. It’s esti­mated that half of all Amer­i­cans on public assis­tance are dropouts. If all of the dropouts from the class of 2011 had earned diplomas, the nation would ben­efit from an esti­mated $154 bil­lion in income over their working life­times. Poten­tially feeding that number is the fact that young women who give up on high school are nine times more likely to be, or become, young single mothers. A study out of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity found that high school dropouts cost tax­payers $292,000 over the course of their lives.

It’s not just about the money, though. Over 80 per­cent of the incar­cer­ated pop­u­la­tion is high school dropouts — making this an issue that truly impacts every member of the com­mu­nity. Num­bers are higher for dropouts of color; 22 per­cent of people jailed in the U.S. are black males who are high school dropouts. As a society, we are not just paying into public assis­tance pro­grams for dropouts, but we are paying to pro­tect our­selves against them through incarceration.

Read the article at Huffington Post →