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: Education

Chart Apr 26, 2017

Fraction of Defaulters, by Amount of Student Loan Debt

This chart shows the distribution of the amount of debt on which students who entered repayment in 2011 defaulted on their debt. Defaulting on federal student loans has consequences for borrowers beyond affecting credit scores. There are direct financial consequences to default such as wage garnishment and offsets of tax refunds and Social Security payments. Among those who defaulted on their student loans, two thirds defaulted on less than $10,000.

Chart Apr 26, 2017

Age Distribution of Undergraduate Students, by Type of Institution

This chart shows the age distribution of undergraduate students by the type of institution in which the students were enrolled in 2015. While the plurality of students at both four-year and public two-year institutions are between the ages of 18 and 24, students at for-profit institutions tend to be older: almost half are age 30 or older. Nonetheless, more than 20 percent of undergraduate students at four-year institutions are over the age of 24.

Interactive Oct 28, 2016

Chronic School Absenteeism in the United States

In this interactive, THP analyzes whether rates of chronic absenteeism provide meaningful differentiation between schools, as required in the statute for the fifth indicator. We find that across the nation and in every state, rates of chronic absenteeism meaningfully differentiate between schools, meaning that rates of chronic absenteeism are widely distributed across schools and the lowest performing schools are clearly identifiable. In each state there are substantial differences across schools in rates of chronic absenteeism.

Chart Dec 19, 2013

Highest Educational Attainment of Family Head, by Income Relative to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

Nearly one out of two families in the struggling lower-middle class is headed by an adult who has attended college. Among household family heads with income between 100 and 250 percent of the FPL, 48 percent have attended some college, and 14 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In stark contrast to those living at or below 250 percent of the FPL, 77 percent of household family heads above 250 percent of the FPL attended at least some college, and about half have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Chart Jul 18, 2013

Comprehensive Costs, Net Costs, and Instructional Expenditures per Student

The most competitive colleges cost the least for low-income students while providing the most instructional expenditure per student. The most competitive colleges spend over $25,000 on instructional expenditure for each student yet the average low- income family pays less than $8,000 out of pocket for these schools. At the least selective four year colleges, low-income families pay over $15,000 out of pocket yet their students receive only around $5000 in instructional expenditure.

Chart Jul 18, 2013

Probability of Children’s Income Level, Given Parents’ Income Level

While social mobility and economic opportunity are important aspects of the American ethos, the data suggest they are more myth than reality. In fact, a child’s family income plays a dominant role in determining his or her future income, and those who start out poor are likely to remain poor. This figure shows the chances that a child’s future earnings will place him in the lowest the or the highest quintile depending on where his parents fell in the distribution (from left to right on the figure, the lowest, middle, and highest quintiles). 

Chart Apr 5, 2013

Median Earnings and Distribution of Students by Attainment in Community Colleges

Many workers can benefit substantially from worker training programs, which provide education and skill development that lead to increased economic opportunities and better jobs. Students who earn two-year degrees in a high-return field, four-year degrees after a two-year degree, or certain career-oriented certificates, earn median salaries of $34,000 or more per year. Students who earn two-year degrees in low-return fields or who do not complete their programs earn around 33 percent less. 

Chart Jan 15, 2013

Return on Investment to a Bachelor’s Degree

Despite widespread claims that a college degree is no longer worth the rising price of tuition, a bachelor’s degree still has about the same return on investment today as it did in the 80s. College still pays for itself, and then some; it will earn you, on average, a 16 percent return, which is a higher rate of return than on investments in the stock market (6.8 percent), corporate bonds (2.9 percent), gold (2.3 percent), long-term government bonds (2.2 percent), or housing (0.4 percent).