Although education is the most robust predictor of financial stability, 12% of adults (25+) in Greenville County do not have a high school diploma, and only 35% hold a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Even more troubling is the race gap in educational attainment: In Greenville County, only 17% of Blacks and 14% of Hispanics hold college degrees, compared to 39% of whites.
By the time students in Greenville County schools reach eighth grade, more than half are failing to meet the state standards for math and English — a key predictor of graduation rates. The numbers are even more dramatic for students in our highest need schools, where the effects of poverty make it difficult to stay on track to graduation.
Not earning a degree has long-term effects not only on a student’s life, but on our entire community. The average salary for adults who drop out of school ranges between $20,000 and $25,000, compared to $38,150 for high school graduates and $67,760 for graduates with a four-year degree. Only those with a college degree would earn enough to meet basic needs for a family of one adult and one child according to the S.C. Self-Sufficiency Standard in Greenville County.