It’s a hard but true fact: the more educated the population, the more economically prosperous a community. It is projected that, of the 30 highest growing occupations across the country, more than half will require above a high school degree. This means now more than ever that students must attain some type of post-secondary schooling. Currently, unemployment rates for those who do not have a high school diploma or equivalent is nearly 12.4 % - double the 6.2% average for those with at least an associate’s degree. In fact, the earning potential for a person with only a high school degree is nearly 1 million dollars less over a lifetime than those with an a 4 year college degree. According to the SA2020 City Dividends Report, increasing the number of college graduates in San Antonio by just 1% would lead to an overall increase in personal income of $1.38 billion. San Antonio’s population is vibrant and growing every year, but we still lack the degree attainment needed to sustain our equally vibrant job growth. We have to face the numbers: 139,000 people in San Antonio do not have a High School Diploma or GED. 225,000 people in San Antonio have some college, but no degree or certificate. These numbers are unacceptable for our community, and make it clear that efforts like Student Aid San Antonio are essential to our future. Student Aid San Antonio helps students complete financial aid forms to pay for college, and the San Antonio Chamber is committed to supporting this effort because we know that students who complete the FAFSA are 90% more likely to attend college. But attending college is not the end of the story. We not only want to help students and their families achieve the goal of getting into college, we want them to finish college! We want students to attain those crucial skills for today’s jobs, and the reality is that a high school degree is simply not enough. It is critical for more of our San Antonio students to complete the FAFSA so they have an opportunity to continue on their educational path. In San Antonio, the collective efforts of many organizations, school districts, colleges and universities, and city officials have led to an increase in FAFSA completion, but our college admittance and completion numbers are still not moving at the rate we need them to in order to reach our community goal of having 50% of citizens with any type of post-secondary degree by 2020.