NPR has launched a special series, “School’s Out: America’s Dropout Crisis,” examining the crisis through the stories of five people. They explore, not only the price high school dropouts pay, but also the costs to society as a whole. NPR cites some staggering statistics that underline the profound emotional and financial costs of dropping out:

  • The unemployment rate for people without a high school diploma is nearly twice that of the general population.
  • Over a lifetime, a high school dropout will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate and almost $1 million less than a college graduate.
  • Dropouts are more likely to commit crimes, abuse drugs and alcohol, become teenage parents, live in poverty and commit suicide.
  • Dropouts cost federal and state governments hundreds of billions of dollars in lost earnings, welfare and medical costs, and billions more for dropouts who end up in prison.

You can follow the series at and click below to watch a video overview.