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Joseph Thomas, a freshman at Davenport University, is a graduate of Cody High School in Detroit

Joseph Thomas, a freshman at Davenport University, is a graduate of Cody High School in Detroit

Watch: These Detroit teens have big dreams and a big goal: To graduate from college

For all the talk about whether college is worth its potentially crushing costs, graduating from college remains one of the only vehicles that reliably propels Americans out of poverty. Yet just half of low-income college students earn degrees in six years. For students from struggling cities, the odds are even steeper. Are they ready for college? And are colleges ready to help them graduate? An ongoing series from Detroit and Newark in the 2019-20 school year examines those questions.

Earlier this week we introduced you to Demetrius Robinson, Kashia Perkins, Joseph Thomas, and Marqell McClendon and the beginning of their journey as college students.

Now you can tune into a video produced by Detroit Public Television that takes a close look at several of the students and the challenges they’ll face in their first year.

Chalkbeat Detroit is partnering with Detroit Public Television to spend the year following the four students. As we reported earlier this week, the first year of college for any student is difficult. Nationwide, nearly 30% of the first-time students who enter college don’t continue past their first year. Only 60% graduate in six years, and the proportion is lower for black and low-income students, like many of those who graduate from Detroit high schools.

Watch the DPTV video below. You can find all of our coverage here.