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United Way Blog

Curbing High School Drop-Out Rates in Your Community

America is experiencing a record high when it comes to high school graduation rates, a testament to the great work of many who are preparing youth for higher education and careers. But there’s still more work to do across the nation. Did you know that every year in the U.S., more than 1.2 million students drop out of high school? That’s approximately 7,000 students a day!

Challenges abound for today’s youth. Dealing with personal or social obstacles that prohibit them from furthering their education, poverty, language barriers and a lack of positive role models are among the highest contributors to the dropout rate. But there is hope. By creating a support system around these areas, doors to success and empowerment can open for youth in need. We also need to build on our momentum, as defined by America’s Promise Alliance, a United Way partner:

  • At 84.1 percent, the national graduation rate is at an all-time high
  • 2.8 million more students have graduated from high school since 2001
  • There are roughly 1,000 large, low-graduation-rate high schools, and less than 900,000 students attending them—down from more than 2,000 such schools and 2.5 million students in 2002
  • Low-income students made up nearly half of the class of 2015

Now more than ever, youth need our support to accelerate their academic journey. United Way is fighting to give underprivileged youth tools, networks and opportunities to excel in the classroom. Although we are making advancements, we still have a long way to go to keep every student in school and on track to graduate on time. To learn how you can champion youth success locally, learn more about the issues by visiting America’s Promise Alliance, or reading their GradNation report.

Everyone deserves the chance to obtain higher education. By supporting youth as they navigate high school, we can set them up for success in school and life.