Who Goes to Graduate School and Who Succeeds?

Who Goes to Graduate School and Who Succeeds? Urban Institute. Sandy Baum, Patricia Steele. January 11, 2017

This brief explores demographic differences in graduate school enrollment and completion. Students from higher-income backgrounds are more likely than others to enroll, more likely to complete their programs, and more likely to earn degrees likely to generate high earnings. When four-year college graduates from lower-income backgrounds do continue their education beyond college, they are more likely than those from higher-income backgrounds to seek master’s degrees, which yield a considerably lower earnings premium than doctoral and professional degrees. Black college graduates—who make up a much smaller share of their age group than white and Asian college graduates—are actually more likely than those from other racial and ethnic groups to go to graduate school. But they disproportionately enroll in master’s degree programs and about one-quarter of black master’s degree students attend for-profit institutions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 2.01 MB].

Fatherhood Initiatives: Connecting Fathers to Their Children

Fatherhood Initiatives: Connecting Fathers to Their Children. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Carmen Solomon-Fears, Jessica Tollestrup. December 28, 2016

In 2016, while the majority of children in the United States lived in families with two parents (69%), an estimated 27% of children were maintained in one-parent homes. Of children in one-parent homes, an estimated 85% were in homes maintained by the mother only. Research indicates that children raised in single-parent families are more likely than children raised in two-parent families (with both biological parents) to do poorly in school, have emotional and behavioral problems, become teenage parents, and have poverty-level incomes. In hopes of improving the long-term outlook for children in single-parent families, federal, state, and local governments, along with public and private organizations, are supporting programs and activities that promote the financial and personal responsibility of noncustodial fathers to their children and increase the participation of fathers in the lives of their children. These programs have come to be known as “responsible fatherhood” programs.

[PDF format, 34 pages, 815.28 KB].

Special Minimum Wages for Workers with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions

Special Minimum Wages for Workers with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Benjamin Collins. December 16, 2016

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended, sets the minimum wage for covered workers at $7.25 per hour. Section 14(c) of the FLSA permits certified employers to pay a worker with a disability that impairs the worker’s productive capacity a special minimum wage (SMW). The SMW may be below the federal minimum wage but must be commensurate with the worker’s productivity and the job’s prevailing wage.
This short report answers common questions related to SMWs. It covers
• federal legislation that authorizes SMWs;
• how individuals qualify for SMWs;
• how employers are certified to pay SMWs and how wage levels are set;
• data on employers that pay SMWs; and
• services that must be provided in conjunction with the payment of SMWs

[PDF format, 8 pages, 588.09 KB].

Global Risks Report 2017

Global Risks Report 2017. World Economic Forum. January 11, 2017.

The Global Risks Report 2017 features perspectives from nearly 750 experts on the perceived impact and likelihood of 30 prevalent global risks as well as 13 underlying trends that could amplify them or alter the interconnections between them over a 10-year timeframe.
2016 saw a crystallization of political risks that have led to the election of populist leaders, a loss of faith in institutions and increased strain on international cooperation. We should not be surprised by this: for the past decade, the Global Risks Report has been drawing attention to persistent economic, social and political factors that have been shaping our risks landscape.
This year’s report will examine the five greatest priorities facing the world in 2017, their interconnections and the actions necessary to avoid their harshest fall-out. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 78 pages, 7.77 MB].

Social Security Primer

Social Security Primer. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Dawn Nuschler. December 5, 2016

Social Security provides monthly cash benefits to retired or disabled workers and their family members, and to the family members of deceased workers. Among the beneficiary population, approximately 82% are retired or disabled workers, and 18% are the family members of retired, disabled, or deceased workers. In October 2016, nearly 61 million beneficiaries received a total of $75 billion in benefit payments for the month; the average monthly benefit was $1,241.
Workers become eligible for Social Security benefits for themselves and their family members by working in Social Security-covered employment. An estimated 94% of workers in paid employment or self-employment are covered, and their earnings are subject to the Social Security payroll tax. In 2017, employers and employees each pay 6.2% of covered earnings, up to the annual limit on taxable earnings ($127,200 in 2017).

[PDF format, 18 pages, 764.81 KB].

The U.S. Income Distribution: Trends and Issues

The U.S. Income Distribution: Trends and Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Sarah A. Donovan, Marc Labonte, Joseph Dalaker. December 8, 2016

Income inequality—that is, the extent to which individuals’ or households’ incomes differ—has increased in the United States since the 1970s. Rising income inequality over this time period is driven largely by relatively rapid income growth at the top of the income distribution. For example, in 1975, the average income of households in the top fifth of income distribution was 10.3 times as large as average household income in the bottom fifth of the distribution; in 2015, average top incomes were 16.3 times as large as those at the bottom.

[PDF format, 47 pages, 1.19 MB].

Youth Transitioning from Foster Care: Background and Federal Programs

Youth Transitioning from Foster Care: Background and Federal Programs. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Adrienne L. Fernandes-Alcantara. November 8, 2016

While most young people have access to emotional and financial support systems throughout their early adult years, older youth in foster care and those who are emancipated from care often face obstacles to developing independent living skills and building supports that ease the transition to adulthood. Older foster youth who return to their parents or guardians may continue to experience poor family dynamics or lack supports, and studies have shown that recently emancipated foster youth fare poorly relative to their counterparts in the general population on several outcome measures.
The federal government recognizes that older youth in foster care and those aging out are vulnerable to negative outcomes and may ultimately return to the care of the state as adults, either through the public welfare, criminal justice, or other systems. Under the federal foster care program, states may seek reimbursement for youth to remain in care up to the age of 21. In addition, the federal foster care program has certain protections for older youth. For example, states must annually obtain the credit report of each child in care who is age 14 and older. States must also assist youth with developing what is known as a transition plan. The law requires that a youth’s caseworker, and as appropriate, other representative(s) of the youth, assist and support him or her in developing the plan. The plan is to be directed by the youth, and is to include specific options on housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors, workforce supports, and employment services. Other protections require states to ensure that youth age 14 and older are consulted about the development and revisions to their case plan and permanency plan, and that the case plan includes a document listing certain rights for these youth.

[PDF format, 48 pages, 1.22 MB].