This thesis aims to answer the following question, composed of two elements; How does your zipcode impact access to higher education? What does attaining a college education mean in terms of earning potential and economic mobility over 40 years? This question requires a further understanding of the factors which contribute to what is known as the achievement gap, and forces its readers to broaden their horizons when considering the components which affect a student's ability to further their education or career. Primarily concerning the foundations and backgrounds of students throughout the nation, this thesis examines studies referring to millions of students throughout the past decades from all around the country. The goal is to develop an understanding surrounding the cause and effects of students' educational and economic mobility, and diligent research leading to a deeper comprehension of the topic is the best way to accomplish this.