Class Act: The Effects of Increasing Immigration in Metropolitan Areas on High School Graduation

Student Author(s)

Benjamin Lewis

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Sarah Estelle

Document Type


Event Date



The number of foreign-born students in American schools has increased significantly over the past few decades. This project explores the effects of increasing immigration rates in major metropolitan areas on the graduation rates of those areas. Immigration in the United States has risen to 40 million people as of 2010 according to the Center for Immigration Studies - its highest mark in history. For those that have already immigrated to the United States to obtain work, their new goal is now to involve either themselves or their families in the education system, because the demand for highly skilled labor has increased. Results from this study could show policy makers in what way education, especially public education, can be expanded or adapted if local governments want to. Overcrowding, peer influence and student performance are a few of the many issues associated with education and immigration, and are important questions concerning the future of the American education system. Utilizing data from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 census, this study employs a fixed-effects model to measure these effects and control for other mediating factors. This study observes both the total graduation results of metropolitan areas as well as the graduation results of immigrants, natives and other demographics, allowing us to compare them.

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