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Percentage of Students Entering and Completing College, and College Persistence, by Income Quartile

Bailey and Dynarski examine college entry, completion and persistence rates by income quartiles using the NLSY97. Only 29% of those from the bottom quartile enter college compared to 80% of those from the top, a substantial gap. In addition, only 9% of those from the bottom quartile who enter college actually complete - this is compared to 54% of those from the top income group. These trends produce highly unequal rates of college persistence (the percentage of those who complete divided by the percent who enter).