Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Executive Summary

This paper seeks to present research that will allow education officials to identify and target individuals who are likely to drop out of high school. By simultaneously using neighborhood, housing, family, and personal factors to identify at-risk students, education officials can link students to the social programs they need to meet their individual needs. Parent’s educational level had statistically significant effect on whether students dropped out of high school. The lower the education level the more likely a student will drop out of school. Parents who are high school dropouts are more likely to earn less and their children are more likely to drop out of school. Age is a significant factor as well. The older a student is the more likely they are to drop out of high school. Children who repeat grades are at a higher risk of dropping out. School failure at an early age is a strong predictor of future academic achievement. If a child performs poorly in elementary and high school, they are at a higher risk of dropping out. Potential solutions need to address parental educational attainment and early childhood education. By increasing early childhood education participation among low-income families and increasing the parents’ educational attainment simultaneously, two-generation programs like Head Start have the potential to be an effective strategy in decreasing the high school dropout rate.