United Way works to end America’s education crisis.

Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes. These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.

Our Goal

In 2008, United Way launched a 10-year initiative to cut by half the number of young people who drop out of high school by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it.

Our Strategy

We can’t focus on high school alone. High school dropouts are 12 years in the making, usually starting with their early childhood education falling behind schedule. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families — strategies and approaches rooted in research.

Our Focus Areas