Grade "A" Salaries

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Updated on Feb 08, 2012

Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Social Science


Determine to what extent high school grades affect future income levels. The goals of this project are:

  1. To devise a test of the correlation between grades and income levels.
  2. To encourage further improvements in educational methods.

Research Questions:

  • Do high school grades affect future income levels?
  • How can instructional methods be improved, based on the results of this study?

Much is made of your high school grade point average. College admissions boards, as well as certain employers, make crucial decisions based on this data. This project is designed to help determine to what extent grades actually predict future success. For the purpose of this study, success will be measured in terms of annual income.


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.)
  • At least 35 adult volunteers, between 25 and 40 years of age.

All necessary materials can be found in or around your home, at local stores, or on ebay.

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
  2. Address all of the above terms and research questions.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Explain to the volunteers that any personal information contributed to this study will remain anonymous.
  6. Have the volunteers provide copies of their high school transcripts, and to show (or honestly state) their average annual income. Be sure to keep both documents attached for each individual, as their names may be withheld.
  7. Divide the transcript data into 5 categories based on Grade Point Average – Group I, GPA 0 - 1; Group 2, GPA 1.1 - 2.0; Group III, GPA 2.1 – 3.0 and Group IV, GPA 3.1 – 3.5; and Group V GPA, 3.6 or higher.
  8. Analyze your data to see how income levels differ between these groups.
  9. Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
  10. Include interesting photos, diagrams and models in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: Anecdotal evidence; Annual income; High School transcripts; SAT scores


Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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