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By the Numbers: Increasing Degree Attainment for Low-Income Students: Is Dual Enrollment the Answer?

6/12/2015

 

A pressing issue for many college and university leaders is the disparity in educational attainment between students from high and low socioeconomic backgrounds. In response, many institutions have implemented dual enrollment programs as a strategy to raise the educational attainment levels of low-socioeconomic-status (SES) students. Higher education leaders see dual enrollment as a means of providing students with an inexpensive or free way to take college courses and earn credit. The Impact of Dual Enrollment on College Degree Attainment: Do Low-SES Students Benefit?, a recent study by Brian P. An, assistant professor of educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa, examined whether participating in a dual enrollment program influenced college degree attainment for low-SES students.

Among the findings:

  • In general, participating in a dual enrollment program increased a student’s likelihood of getting any degree by 8 percentage points.

  • In general, participating in a dual enrollment program increased a student’s likelihood of getting a bachelor’s degree by 7 percentage points.

  • Regarding parental education: When the highest level of parental education was high school or less, participating in a dual enrollment program increased a student’s likelihood of getting any degree by 8 percentage points.

  • When the highest level of parental education was high school or less, participating in a dual enrollment program increased a student’s likelihood of getting a bachelor’s degree by 8 percentage points.

  • When the highest level of parental education was some college, participating in a dual enrollment program increased a student’s likelihood of getting any degree by 9 percentage points.

  • When the highest level of parental education was some college, participating in a dual enrollment program increased a student’s likelihood of getting a bachelor’s degree by 6 percentage points. 

     
 
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