If there’s one statistic that many economist find sobering, it’s the high unemployment rate among students who have failed to complete their high school education. Once students drop out of school, many fail to pursue further education. And this trend leads to a lifelong earnings gap when these consumers are compared to those who possess higher educations.
Dropout rates are particularly high for Hispanic students. Over 40% of this demographic group, over age 20, does not possess a high school diploma. This statistic compares to 23% of blacks and 14% of whites. Writing for the Pew Hispanic Center, Richard Fry points out that dropouts who go on to earn a GED tend to have higher rates of achieving other education and training than those dropouts who do not get a GED. But Hispanic high school dropouts have the lowest GED achievement rate, 9%, of any ethnic group.
Fry indicates that one reason for the low GED achievement rate among Hispanics may be lack of information. Many Hispanics who drop out may be recent immigrants. They don’t understand all of the educational opportunities that are available in the U.S. But for most immigrant groups, economic success and assimilation into the broader culture has occurred as the result of learning English and becoming educated.
As the number of Hispanics increases across the country, schools and other service providers that offer continuing education programs and English classes may be increasing their marketing programs to connect with this important demographic.[Source: Fry, Richard. Hispanics, High School Dropouts and the GED. Pew Hispanic Center. 13 May 2010. Web. 15 Jun. 2010]