Offsetting the Diploma Deficit

Today, the high school dropout rate has reached epidemic levels. There are nearly 40 million Americans without a high school diploma—and those adults looking to return to high school have limited options.

The startling figures below from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, uncover just how many adults in each state has less than a high school education.

Est. %  Pop. Est. Est. %  Pop. Est.
Alabama 13.74           345,435 Montana 6.24                   32,993
Alaska 7.01              28,396 Nebraska 8.54                   81,346
Arizona 13.73           455,099 Nevada 14.02                 207,698
Arkansas 12.88           193,251 New Hampshire 6.55                   47,650
California 17.8        3,589,890 New Jersey 9.3                 446,353
Colorado 9.25           262,167 New Mexico 13.81                 148,257
Connecticut 7.95           152,792 New York 12.56             1,324,090
Delaware 10.29              48,947 North Carolina 12.78                 658,278
Florida 11.82        1,181,752 North Dakota 4.89                   17,507
Georgia 13.09           690,014 Ohio 8.96                 543,680
Hawaii 7.42              55,057 Oklahoma 12.2                 239,305
Idaho 9.13              73,160 Oregon 9.47                 198,083
Illinois 10.56           724,302 Pennsylvania 8.36                 561,210
Indiana 11.14           377,601 Rhode Island 11.11                   61,262
Iowa 6.21              97,347 South Carolina 12.71                 312,306
Kansas 9.03           133,124 South Dakota 6.86                   28,918
Kentucky 13.02           302,863 Tennessee 12.07                 412,145
Louisiana 14.58           351,156 Texas 17.3             2,345,503
Maine 5.83              41,894 Utah 8.42                 115,289
Maryland 9.13           293,044 Vermont 5.57                   18,719
Massachusetts 8.28           297,655 Virginia 9.63                 427,778
Michigan 8.59           444,606 Washington 8.85                 331,688
Minnesota 6.08           175,367 West Virginia 12.67                 124,751
Mississippi 17.87           224,211 Wisconsin 7.46                 226,185
Missouri 10.22           320,385 Wyoming 7                   21,444

With Career Online High School, adult learners get the unique opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma—not just a GED. They gain new prospects in their careers, education, and communities.

So, what does it mean to acquire a high school diploma?

For the individual:

  • Working adults with a high school diploma earn almost $10,000 more every year than those without one.1
  • High school graduates are less likely than those who have dropped out to be unemployed, live in poverty,2 have poor health,3 or have children who will also live in poverty.4

For your community:

  • High school graduates are less likely to commit crimes,5 rely on subsidized health care,6 or use other public programs like food stamps or housing assistance.7
  • Adults with a high school diploma tend to be more active in civil pursuits, including voting and volunteering in their communities, and at higher levels.8

For the nation:

  • Federal, state, and local governments stand to collect $2.5 billion in tax revenue and reduced expenses for every 400,000 adults who earn a high school diploma.9

Your library can address these statics and change lives in your community with Career Online High School. Learn more >>

  1. U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Education Pays.
  2. Meacham, Jon. (April 12, 2012). U.S. Education Reform and National Security: Report of a CFR-Sponsored Independent Task Force. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cfr.org/education/us-education-reform-national-security-report-cfr-sponsored-independent-task-force/p27948.
  3. Muennig, Peter. (October, 2000). Health Returns to Education Interventions Retrieved from devweb.tc.columbia.edu/manager/…/Files/81_Muennig_paper.ed.pdf
  4. Rumberger, Russell W., (January 24, 2012). America cannot afford a stiff price of a dropout nation Retrieved fromhttp://toped.svefoundation.org/2012/01/24/america-cannot-afford-the-stiff-price-of-a-dropout-nation/
  5. Raphael—The Socioeconomic Status of Black Males: The Increasing Importance of Incarceration, Berkley, CA: Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, 2004.
  6. P. Muennig, ―Health Returns to Education Interventions,‖ paper prepared for the symposium Social Costs of Inadequate Education, October 24-25, 2005, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.
  7. I. Garfinkel, B. Kelly, and J. Waldfogel, ―Public Assistance Programs: How Much Could be Saved with Improved Education?,‖ paper prepared for the symposium Social Costs of Inadequate Education, October 24–25, 2005, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.
  8. J. Junn, ―The Political Costs of Unequal Education,‖ paper prepared for the symposium Social Costs of Inadequate Education, October 24–25, 2005, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.
  9. McLendon, L., Jones, D. and M. Rosin. (2011).The Return on Investment from Adult Education and Training. McGraw Hill Research Foundation.

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