Categories:  'Economic Inequality'   'Education as an Economic Issue'  

America’s College Dropout Crisis

As more and more students are encouraged to attend college, almost sixty percent of Americans attend college, but more than a quarter of students who [...]

As more and more students are encouraged to attend college, almost sixty percent of Americans attend college, but more than a quarter of students who start college drop out before they earn any degree at all.

A college degree remains a good investment, but students who have dropped out face doubly diminished economic prospects – not only do they lack a degree, they are also often saddled with student debt from the program they did not complete.

“The dropout problem is particularly acute for students whose parents did not attend college. First-generation students beat enormous odds by even enrolling in a four-year degree program. Yet 30 percent of first-generation freshmen drop out of school within three years,” triple the dropout rate for students whose parents have college degrees.

The causes of this gap are manifold, but may include poor-quality K-12 educations that leave first-generation students unprepared for college-level coursework, poorer-quality instruction at their college, and the lack of parental help and advice on everything from choosing majors to complete financial aid paperwork.

The data clearly shows that helping students apply for college and matriculate isn’t enough – many students, especially low-income and first-generation students, need extra support to get the full benefits of a college education and degree.

 

Pictured: Ana Barros, Harvard student and founder of the Harvard College First Generation Student Union. Credit: Charlie Mahoney for The New York Times

Articles

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Source: The New York Times
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