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Report: The Benefits of College for Students 'Just Above the Admissions Cutoff'


The national debate over who should or should not attend college—and how much taxpayers should subsidize higher education—took on a new layer of consideration this week. Two separate studies, which tracked thousands of people over the past two decades, indicate that students who struggle in the middle of the academic pack do better financially with even a little bit of higher education.

The New York Times zeroed in on students who scored approximately 840 on their SATs or maintained a C+ average in high school. Some colleges reject such candidates, while other institutions might accept them. Both studies have concluded that those middle-of-the-pack students who do eek by with a college education usually reap large benefits.

"Perhaps more important, the data shows that the students just above the admissions cutoff earned substantially more by their late 20s than those just below it," reports the Times.

"If you give these students a shot, they're ready to succeed," Princeton economist Seth Zimmerman told the Times.

But only a third of young adults today receive a bachelor's degree, confirms the study, but many more teenagers have the ability to do so and could benefit from it.