Only 16% of Students in Low-income Communities Graduate College by Age 24

99% of New Jobs Require Postsecondary Education

Since the 2008 recession, 99% of new jobs have required some postsecondary education, according to the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. Those with only a high school diploma or less have been left behind.

higher education jobs

Job Stability is Higher with a College Degree

Studies show that today’s young workers (ages 25-32) with a college degree are experiencing greater job stability than those with only a high school diploma. Their unemployment rate is 3.8% compared to 12.2% for those with only a high school education and no career planning.

High School Grads Earn $1M Less
Than College Grads

Even earning a two-year degree would boost lifetime earnings by an average of $423,000; a bachelor’s degree an average of $1 million.

The Gap Between College Aspiration and College Attainment is Wide

Research shows that when asked in middle or high school, 95% of students in low-income communities say they want to go to college. But currently, only 11% of low-income students earn a degree by age 24 – a rate barely above the college graduation rate for students of a similar background nearly a half-century ago.

PeerForward Activates Students to Address the College Counseling Resource Gap

The recommended counselor-to-student ratio is 1 to 250, according to the American School Counselor Association, but the national average is 1 to 464. Researchers estimate that in some high schools in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is as high as 1 to 1,000. College access programs cannot fill the gap, reaching only a small fraction of the students who most need their services.

Career planning with College Summit

Unleash Peer Power to
Overcome the Challenge

Our PeerForward Teams can increase the college counseling capacity of low-income high schools and make higher education the expectation, not the exception.

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