Education in America: The Low-Income Gap (Video)

Jan 29, 2016

Nearly half of all public school students come from low-income families. And yet, new data show that low-income students are graduating at far lower rates than their peers.

In 2014, only 74.6 percent of low-income students graduated, compered to 89 percent of non-low-income students—a 14.4 percentage point gap

The American Graduate video below explores why many low-income students drop out of high school — “because they don’t see hope” — and points out the impact of dropping out: without a high school diploma, youth are twice as likely to hold a minimum-wage job.

The video also introduces Charlie Bean, a “dropout recruiter” who has turned more than 100 dropouts into graduates.

American Graduate is a public media initiative to improve high school graduation rates by communicating the challenges of the dropout crisis and joining forces with partner organizations, schools, and mentors to support community-driven solutions. For more on keeping students on the path to a high school diploma, college, and successful careers, visit


American Graduate is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a national partner of America’s Promise Alliance.