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Smart Poor Kids Are Less Likely to Graduate From College Than Middling Rich Kids

Publication date: Jun 3, 2015

Posted by Jordan Weissmann.

In case you needed a reminder that the deck is stacked against poor kids in this country, University of Michigan professor Susan Dynarski has offered a simple and grim illustration of that fact at the New York Times. In 2002, the Department of Education began tracking a large, nationally representative group of high school sophomores, whom it tested for math and reading skills. Ten years later, the agency found a troubling, though not exactly surprising, pattern. At every level of academic ability, the low-income students were less likely to finish college than their wealthier peers. Yet more depressing: Exceptionally smart poor kids, whose math scores ranked them among the top quarter of the study’s participants, were no more likely to attain a bachelor’s degree than scholastically middling rich kids.

Read the full article in Slate.

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