Information Brief 2012-32

ACT College Readiness Benchmark Attainment by Annual Family Income Level 2012

Socioeconomic status has a substantial effect on academic success. Consistent with prior findings,1 the following chart shows the distribution of students’ self-reported family income and how their attainment of the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in English, mathematics, reading, and science varies with family income. Approximately 45% of the graduates’ families have annual incomes less than $50,000.

ACT College Readiness Benchmark Attainment by Annual Family Income Level

Chart showing ACT college readiness benchmark attainment by annual family income level
Family Income LevelAll ACT-Tested StudentsACT-Tested Students Meeting All 4 Benchmarks
Less than $24K18.3%8.71%
About $24K–$36K14.8%12.6%
About $36K–$50K12.7%18.48%
About $50K–$60K9.3%22.98%
About $60K–$80K13.0%27.73%
About $80K–$100K11.1%33.06%
About $100K–$120K8.5%39.05%
About $120K–$150K5.0%41.24%
More than $150K7.3%49.2%

Note: Based on data from 1,207,240 ACT-tested 2012 high school graduates who reported family income. This count reflects a nonresponse rate of about 28% and may not be representative of the underlying population of ACT-tested high school graduates.

1See ACT Information Brief 2012-1.

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