Students who start college but do not graduate
incur large personal expenses. They pay thousands
of dollars in tuition, they likely take out loans, they
change their lives, but they fail in one of the most
important goals they have ever set for themselves.
In the meantime, taxpayers pay billions of dollars
in grants and state appropriations to support
these students as they pursue degrees they will
In this report, we have documented yet another
cost of the nationís low college graduation rate. As
a nation, we incur hundreds of millions of dollars in
lost income each year. These losses translate into
millions of dollars in lost income taxes.
President Obamaís call for the United States to
regain the lead as the nation in the world with the
highest concentration of college and university
degrees has a fiscal underpinning that is beyond
question: Low college graduation rates are costly
for students, for their families, and for taxpayers in
each state and the nation as a whole.