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How is Income Related to the Community College to Bachelor’s Degree Pathway?

Last week, we explored what the data behind “The Effects of Rising Student Costs in Higher Education: Evidence from Public Institutions in Virginia” tell us about degree-attainment rates at community colleges. We noted that eight years after students started at a community college, only 20% of those on track to earn a bachelor’s degree had earned one, and only 14% of students in the lowest income quintile had earned one. (See the blog post from May 7, 2014 for a full description of these results and the sample of students they were based on.)

Based on a comment to the previous blog post, we looked at degree attainment rates for the other income quintiles and put together a graph comparing degree attainment across multiple income quintiles. As suggested in the comment, higher income groups do have higher degree success rates, but those rates are still low.

income comparison

(There are not enough students in the 5th income group to do this analysis, but it is likely that most higher income students fall in the “No FAFSA Submitted” group.)

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