Compulsory education is schooling which is required by law. In the United States, education is compulsory in every state, although the ages vary. In Ohio, for example, all students must attend school until the age of sixteen. At sixteen, a child may drop out with parental consent. A child may drop out on his or her own at age eighteen. Most students choose to continue until they earn a high school diploma, however, because statistics show that the long-term career prospects and earning potential of high school drop-outs is abysmal.