High school dropouts cost taxpayers billions | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College Newsroom

Teachers College Newsroom

Skip to content Skip to content

High school dropouts cost taxpayers billions

Researchers at Columbia University say if we could cut the high school dropout rate in half, taxpayers would save $127,000 per new graduate.
SCOTT JAGOW: Here's an interesting question: How much money could the U.S. save if the number of high school dropouts was cut in half? A new report from Columbia University says the answer is $45 billion. Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.

 
NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Columbia says taxpayers would save $127,000 per new graduate. The researchers say if students finished high school, they wouldn't need Medicaid or welfare. And study co-author Henry Levin says there's more.
 
HENRY LEVIN: They pay larger taxes and that's nice. The second thing is that they're less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. Levin followed students enrolled in dropout prevention programs from pre-school to adulthood. But Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute is dubious.
 
NEAL MCCLUSKEY: You can't take a small program, project it on an entire country and say it'll produce the exact same relative savings that it produced when it was just a small program. But Columbia says other studies back up its research.
 
In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.    
 
From NPR's Marketplace segment, 2/11/2007

Published Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007

High school dropouts cost taxpayers billions

SCOTT JAGOW: Here's an interesting question: How much money could the U.S. save if the number of high school dropouts was cut in half? A new report from Columbia University says the answer is $45 billion. Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.

 
NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Columbia says taxpayers would save $127,000 per new graduate. The researchers say if students finished high school, they wouldn't need Medicaid or welfare. And study co-author Henry Levin says there's more.
 
HENRY LEVIN: They pay larger taxes and that's nice. The second thing is that they're less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. Levin followed students enrolled in dropout prevention programs from pre-school to adulthood. But Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute is dubious.
 
NEAL MCCLUSKEY: You can't take a small program, project it on an entire country and say it'll produce the exact same relative savings that it produced when it was just a small program. But Columbia says other studies back up its research.
 
In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.    
 
From NPR's Marketplace segment, 2/11/2007
How This Gift Connects The Dots
 
Scholarships & Fellowships
 
Faculty & Programs
 
Campus & Technology
 
Financial Flexibility
 
Engage TC Alumni & Friends