New university data indicates the circumstances you're born into are likely yours for life.

She was a high school drop-out at age 14, working in a cafe at 18. If you'd asked her back then, there was no way Ashley Insley would have imagined she'd go on to become a doctor. In her hometown of Te Kaha, a tiny village on the impoverished East Coast, no one had dreams like that. The usual route was to leave school and get a job to help support your family, who were likely living week-to-week.

"I'd never met anyone who had gone to university as a kid because people just didn't do it," Insley, 26, says. "There

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