Nationally, the student-to-adviser ratio is over 450:1, leaving many students with just 20 minutes a year with a college adviser. High-need students often lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for college, apply to best-fit schools and for financial aid, enroll and persist in their studies, and graduate.
In America, earning a college degree is critical to good economic prospects and a higher quality of life. Yet, too many high school students are not applying to or going to college. This is especially true among America’s highest need students: first-generation college going, low-income, and/or underrepresented students. While half of all people from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, just 1 in 10 people from low-income families do.
High-need students receive the least assistance in the college admissions process. Not only is the national student-to-adviser ratio over 450:1, high-need students often lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for and apply to college.
College Advising Corps works in public high schools to provide the support needed for low-income and underrepresented kids to navigate the college admissions process. We believe this work is not only transformational for the the students we serve and for the advisers that serve them, but it is imperative to America’s economic strength and to preserving opportunity for all.
Why Going to College Matters
Earnings: The economic value of a college education is undisputable.
- Americans with more education typically earn significantly higher wages and are far more likely to be employed than those who have no post-secondary education. Among the employed, the median college-educated worker earns 84 percent more than the median worker with only a high school education. The benefits of post-secondary education extend beyond those who graduate from four-year universities: Americans with just some college and no degree or an associate’s degree earn 16 percent more than if they had not attained this education.
- For Millennials, the earnings gap between those with a college degree and those without is larger than ever before. In 2013, the median earnings for a college-degree holder was $45,500 compared with $30,000 for those with a two-year degree and $28,000 for those with only a high school diploma. This gap has never been bigger over the last 50 years.
- Equally compelling is the impact that a college degree has on the opportunity for a low-income student. When a child born into the bottom fifth of the income distribution gets a college degree, her chances of making it to the top nearly quadruple, and her chances of making it out of the bottom increase by more than 50 percent. Without a college degree, children born in the bottom fifth of the income distribution have a 5 percent chance of making it to the top fifth, and a 55 percent of chance of making out of the bottom fifth. With a college degree, the chances of making it to the top increase to 19%.
Quality of Life
Getting a college degree is about more than getting a job. While employed college degree holders earn more than others, college-educated Millennials also have lower unemployment and poverty rates than their less-educated peers and are more likely to be married and less likely to be living in their parent’s home.
The need for College Advising Corps is great. We hope that you will join us in increasing opportunity for America’s students.