As Welfare Rolls Shrink, Colleges Offer the Best Route to Good Jobs

Three years after welfare reform, nearly five million welfare recipients have left the rolls. But the journey from welfare to work has not led most of them out of poverty.

A recent Urban Institute study of people who left welfare from 1995 to 1997 has found that the average wage for welfare "leavers" is just $6.61 an hour. Even for those former recipients who work full-time and year-round, that amounts to less than $14,000 a year -- barely above the poverty