We’re constantly hearing the advice given to high school students for them to plan to go on to college. And, as N.C. State University economists explains, they have been taking that advice.
“Fifty years ago, less than half, 46 percent, to be exact, of high school graduates went on to college. Today, it’s up to 70 percent. And if you look at all the decades over the last 50 years, then only one decade — the 1970s — did that percentage drop.
“The biggest gain was in the 1980s, when the percentage of high school graduates enrolling in college jumped 10 percentage points. And the most recent decade, the 2000s, it’s gone up by 7 percentage points.
“So, you’re absolutely on the mark to say that high schoolers have gotten the message. College is really where it’s at in terms of getting an education. It’s going to set you up for a good-paying job.
“Unfortunately, though, what we see at the college level is not all students who enter graduate. In fact, we have a big problem with dropouts, if you will, at the college level.”