Undergraduate education offers prospective students an array of benefits including stronger employment prospects, higher earnings, and better health outcomes. But to enjoy the full benefits of a college education, students must persist to graduation. At present, too few undergraduates do. What’s more, racial and ethnic disparities in undergraduate persistence and completion have reduced the attainment gains made possible through recent advances in postsecondary access among students of color and reinforced extant racial inequities in educational attainment. The employment and earnings benefits foregone through non-completion take on even greater importance as students finance a greater share of their college costs out of private resources and debt.
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