Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dropping out: A costly but common decision

Dropping out: A costly but common decision

According to an article from, if you're graduating from college this year, consider yourself lucky.
Just 56% of college students complete a four-year degree within six years, according to a 2011 Harvard Graduate School of Education study.
Among the 18 developed countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the U.S. was dead last for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it -- behind even Slovakia.
College dropouts tend to be male, and they give reasons such as cost, not feeling prepared, and not being able to juggle family, school and jobs, according to the Harvard study. An American Institutes for Research report last year estimated that college dropouts cost the nation $4.5 billion in lost earnings and taxes.
One factor in these disappointing statistics is America's for-profit schools, which have garnered plenty of recent media attention. Such schools are sometimes accused of being "dropout factories" that send students out into the workforce with major debt and few skills. But there are a number of four-year public universities, funded at least in part by taxpayer dollars, that have graduation rates that are just as bad as -- or worse than -- their for-profit counterparts.
Calculating college graduation rates isn't an exact science. The data used for the following list include the number of incoming bachelor's degree-seeking students who graduate within six years, and students who transfer to other schools are counted as dropouts. The list is compiled from calculations by the Chronicle of Higher Education for the 2010 year (the latest data available). We included only four-year accredited universities, and excluded schools with a high percentage of part-time students.
The tip for those wanting to further their education is know the graduation rate of the institution you plan to attend.  Before you put in your time and money on a degree, make sure it is a university that truly cares about their students and has a track record for graduating and finding employment for their graduates.  There are excellent programs out there for high school graduates and adults that are designed for the success of their students.


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