Paula Fomby

About Paula Fomby

Paula Fomby is an associate research scientist in the Survey Research Center and a faculty associate in the Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology with an emphasis on social demography from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2001. Her research interests are in family composition and child well-being, with particular emphasis on the role of social inequality in shaping and exacerbating the consequences of family organization for children's cognitive and behavioral development.

Missing Out on College: The Role of Family Instability in Educational Attainment in the United States

The value and meaning of a college education in the United States has perhaps never been more contentious than it is today. Media and political attention highlight rising tuition rates, soaring student debt, and an anemic entry-level job market for recent college graduates. Fewer than 60 percent of students who begin post-secondary education earn a Bachelor’s degree within six years. At the same time, scholars and activists have argued that increased access to college education and improved retention to graduation may be the most effective pair of strategies available to increase social mobility and ameliorate economic inequality while expanding economic growth.

Continue reading