Schooling at every level is a key component of upward mobility. Learn how different approaches are shown to increase the odds of advancement
- Those who earn a Bachelor’s Degree tend to have higher incomes, and experience increasing incomes over their lives, than those who do not complete college. This trend applies to children from all backgrounds, and speaks to the nature of a college education in supporting upward mobility. The differences in earnings between those with a Bachelor’s Degree and those without is more than $60,000 later in life.
- Students at less-selective schools, which are usually the most accessible, are less likely to overcome the earnings of high-SES students from selective universities. These more selective institutions offer quality education, but do not allow easy pathways for attendance for students from low-SES backgrounds.
- Despite some gains in college completions nationally, there are still challenges in boosting post-secondary degree completions across class, gender, and racial lines. The children of more affluent parents are increasingly attending and completing college degrees at rates not matched by less affluent peers.
- Students' educational performance, and therefore long term mobility, can be tied to experiences within their kindergarten classroom. Opportunity Insights has found that smaller class sizes and kindergarten test scores have measurable long-term impacts on earnings, as well home ownership, retirement savings, and college attendance.
- High quality child care can help overcome many issues that may lead to long-term declines in mobility, but access to this type of child care is not a given. Moves to ensure quality stands for child care providers can help level the playing field, but these programs must be made accessible to children who will benefit the most from these programs.
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The communities we grow up play a large role in shaping our trajectories in life, leading to geographically distinct pathways for upward mobility that can lead to further inequities and segregation.