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Events Calendar

Second Congressional District Financial Empowerment Workshop
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
8:30am - 1:00pm
New Faith Baptist Church International
25 S. Central Avenue, Matteson, IL 60443


News & Articles

Modern Workplace

Help Wanted: Many Youth Lack Education for Modern Workplace

Over the past several decades, the demand for high-skilled labor has grown dramatically. While earnings have traditionally grown with educational attainment, the gaps have become more pronounced in recent years (Autor, 2011; Lemieux, 2006). Well-educated workers have much better labor market outcomes than workers with lower levels of educational attainment. In 2010, 23 percent of high school dropouts age 25 to 29 were unemployed as compared with the unemployment rates of 15 percent for high school diploma graduates (HSDGs) and 6 percent for workers with a bachelor’s degree. Weekly earnings also differ substantially with education. HSDGs earn 18 percent more than students who leave high school early. Workers with 4-year degrees earn 60 percent more than HSDGs with no postsecondary training.

In addition to the financial advantages for individual workers, education provides substantial nonpecuniary and societal benefits.Several studies have shown that health behaviors and outcomes are positively related to educational attainment (Cutler & Lleras-Muney,2010; Oreopoulos & Salvanes, 2011). Education also has positive effects on voting participation, community involvement, and crime (Moretti,2004). Lochner and Moretti (2004) estimate that a one-percentage point increase in high school completion rate would save about $1.4 billion per year in reduced cost of crime.

Despite these benefits, educational attainment has been stagnant or declining over the past decade. High school graduation rates have fallen from historic highs in the 1970’s, college enrollment rates have leveled off, and college graduation rates are stable or declining.

Based on current completion rates, 24 percent of current high school freshmen are unlikely to complete high school and another 27 percent will earn a high school diploma but not pursue postsecondary education (see Figure 1). While 65 percent of HSDGs continue directly on to college, few of these students persist to earn college degrees. This evidence suggests that the influx of new workers entering the labor force will do little to meet growing demand for high skilled labor. Rather, low educational attainment will leave many young workers with high unemployment rates, chronically low wages, and low wage growth.

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Changing Lives, Building a Workforce

As community colleges strive to prepare today’s students for in-demand, family-supporting jobs, workforce pipeline gaps exist that will challenge community colleges well into the 21st century—not the least of which is an increasingly diverse socio-demographic group often lacking readiness for college-level study. Drawing on data from our academic and workforce assessment data archives,we have identified three types of Persistent Gaps:

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Colleges Offer Hidden Savings to Students

Though tuitions are rising and government budgets for education programs have been slashed¨ there are still dealsto be had at colleges across the country With a ittle digging¨ students and parents may be able to uncover savings that will ease the financial burden of higher education¨ sometimes by thousands of dollars

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College aid: Don't take the bait

If you're facing a $100,000 to $250,000 four-year college bill in the not too distant future, you probably see yourself not just asan anxious parent but as a pauper-in-waiting.

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Paying for College: Students from Middle-Income Backgrounds

In 2008, the middle 20% of families in the United States had incomes ranging from $49,326 to $75,000. The mean income for this group of families was $61,582. This is one possible way of defining "middle class." A broader definition might include all families who are above the lowest quintile and below the highest quintile. This 60% of families had incomes ranging from $27,801to $113,025 in 2008.

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Trends in College Pricing 2012

As we report on another year of increases in the published tuition and fee prices of colleges and universities around the country, it is important to step back to gain some historical perspective on these prices and the forces driving them.