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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

February 11, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Graphs: Pew study highlights widening gap between college grads, those without degrees

A new Pew study released Tuesday highlights the increasing costs of not graduating from college in today’s economy. The earnings gap between college graduates and those without degrees is the highest it’s been in 48 years, according to the AP; meanwhile, the inflation-adjusted earnings for a typical high-school graduate fell from $31,384 in 1965 to $28,000 in 2013.

Young adults who hold just a high-school diploma make 62 percent of what their peers with four-year degrees earn, according to the study. Here are a few graphs that illustrate more findings from the Pew report:

Rising Earnings Disparity Between Young Adults with And Without a College Degree

Disparity among Millennials Ages 25-32 By Education Level in Terms of Annual Earnings …

College Days, Reconsidered

The report was released just a few days after our story on how mentor programs like WWU’s Compass 2 Campus are getting more young kids interested in higher education. Although Compass 2 Campus exposes students to a variety of post-secondary education options, including career training and two-year colleges, many readers questioned whether traditional higher education should be held up as the goal for most students.

The question was again addressed during today’s live chat with representatives from Compass 2 Campus and the UW Dream Project. Here’s how Cyndie Shepard, the found of Compass 2 Campus, responded:

“In our program, we try to encourage post-secondary education — not just four-year university enrollment, but also community college, technical college and trade schools,” she said. “Our goal is to help students see the importance of graduating from high school and becoming a life-long learner.”

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