(CNN/Money) Here's a little-known, scary stat: More than half of middle class kids who start college fail to earn a bachelor's degree within six to eight years.
The low graduation rate has big implications for young adults' ability to remain in the middle class, or to rise a few rungs above their parents on the economic ladder. A college degree, once a ticket to the middle class, is now a must-have to maintain that status.
Why these kids aren't graduating with bachelor's degrees isn't really known. A lot of attention and effort is focused on getting lower-income children into and through college. But few researchers study the path of students from middle class families.
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"It's startling. We get people to college, but they don't finish," said Sandy Baum, a research professor at the George Washington University. "The middle class gets lost in the shuffle."