Possible economic benefits of full-grade acceleration

Russell T. Warne
  • Journal of School Psychology, December 2017, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2017.07.001

Grade skippers earn more money in adulthood

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

What is it about?

In this study, I compared the adult incomes of people who experienced academic acceleration (e.g., grade skipping, early kindergarten, graduating from high school early) with similar people who did not. I found that, on average, accelerated individuals had incomes 4.66% higher than non-accelerated individuals. Accelerated women had higher incomes (6.78%) than non-accelerated women. The income advantage of accelerated men compared to non-accelerated men was much smaller (0.83%). Income gaps varied across time and were largest in early adulthood.

Why is it important?

Academic acceleration is widely supported among gifted education experts, and there is strong evidence for its academic benefits. This study--along with an earlier study of mine--shows that there are economic benefits, too. These benefits last well into adulthood. Academic acceleration is not used with bright or gifted students as often as it should be. I hope that this article gets more parents to consider grade skipping and other forms of acceleration for their children.

Perspectives

Dr Russell T. Warne
Utah Valley University

This article is a replication of an earlier study I performed on economic outcomes, and I was pleased when the results were similar. Also, I am the beneficiary of full-grade acceleration (as were two of my four brothers), and it is nice to see that my anecdotal positive experience is supported by empirical data. Finally, I am glad to contribute to the literature on this widely accepted--but seldom implemented--practice. I hope that my work can make a teacher, principal, or parent more likely to decide that a bright child can skip a grade.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2017.07.001

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Russell T. Warne