Just 29 percent of the poorest students enroll in college, and only 9 percent ever graduate, according to a recent article in The Atlantic. Conversely, 80 percent of the wealthiest students enroll in college, and 54 percent finish.

It is often said that education is the best decision a person can make financially. But with the drastically different percentages of students who enroll and finish college shown above, the data shows that the U.S. higher education system may actually do more to perpetuate class divisions than bridge them. Students from higher-income families graduate college at a much higher percentage than students that come from lower-income families.

This trend may be the result of poor preparation of some students, but finances play a big role. The Atlantic concludes that “for Americans of a certain class, college is a basic rite of passage. For many more, it's a roll of the dice.”

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