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Open the Door to Success

A high school diploma opens the door to a better life. It is the big ticket you need to enter college, the military, or to get started on a career path.  Give yourself a chance.

Videos About Importance of Staying in School

Graduation Matters PSA
BoostUp PSA
30 seconds
30 seconds
Graduation: Do It
Vanessa's Story
8 minutes
30  minutes

Unfortunately, more than 12,000 Missouri students dropped out of high school last year.  People who drop out of school nearly always regret having left school.  According to the America's Promise Alliance, high school dropouts are more likely:

The good news is there are many resources available to help students succeed in school and reach their goals. Check out the information on this Web site, as well as look into the resources and programs in your school and community to get support.

Education Pays

The more education you have, the more money you are likely to make and the less likely you are to be unemployed.  Here is how much money on average that Missourians age 25 to 64 made in 2008, listed by education levels.

Educational Attainment

2008 Earnings

Less than a high school diploma $ 8.88 $355.37 $18,479
High school graduate $12.46 $498.25 $25,909
Some college or associate degree $14.98 $599.08 $31,152
Bachelor's degree $20.28 $811.12 $42,178
Graduate or professional degree $25.04 $1,001.56 $52,081

In 2008, Missouri workers with a high school diploma earned an average of $25,909 per year, while those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $42,178 per year.

Educational Attainment


Unemployment Rate 2008

Less than a high school diploma 13.0%
High school graduate 6.0%
Some college or associate degree 4.2%
Bachelor's degree or higher 2.1%

Source: 2008 American Community Survey,

Message from President Obama

"You cannot drop out of school and just drop into a good job."

The President gives a speech directly to Americas students. He emphasizes their hope and potential but makes clear they will need to take responsibility for themselves and their education to reach that potential. (Sept. 2009)

How Do I Find?

If you or a friend are struggling to stay in school, it is very important to ask for help. Talk to a caring adult at school, in your community, or call a help line.  You have options.  We want you to succeed in school... and in life.

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