“Microsoft wouldn’t have existed if Bill was to complete college,” Jeremie concluded empathically. He was planning not to come back. Bill was now working at the financial firm of his choice. He was doing well professionally, and he can always come back to complete.
Anyways, the college turned out to be different than he’d expected! It wasn’t a surprise for his friends. He hardly attended classes these days. He was busy with his new job. (One that he took to pay the tuition fee). It’s a pity he is leaving.
Read More: How To Drop Out Of College?
Numbers and Figures:
According to reports, the college dropout rate for 2018 in the United States of America was 45%. It means that only one out of every five students enrolled in two or four-year courses will complete college. If you think that only local students are amongst the dropouts, you are in for a surprise. Students of foreign origins, too, contribute to this percentage.
With the novel COVID 19 taking a toll, the education situation is grim. While many renowned universities are opting to do away with scores and grades, obtaining admission to colleges does not guarantee a degree.
Moreover, as universities have closed down due to the outbreak, most international students have left for their homes, uncertain of their academic careers. So chances of an increase in the percentage of dropouts cannot be overruled.
Even before the Admissions:
Many educationists and behavioural experts believe that personal, social, and financial situations while in school can be crucial factors to determine if one will drop out of college.
Studies involving US college dropouts reveal the following common factors amongst college dropouts:
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- A majority of the dropouts had parents who never went to college.
- Had several friends who dropped out of school.
- Had to depend on the State for financial aid.
- Were contemplating or working part-time.
- Were interested in short term courses.
- Had low school attendance.
In addition to the above, quite a few respondents admitted to being suffering from physical ailments, broken homes, and social anxiety.
However, experts also opine that once in college, a student can change for better or for worse. Not all students with low school attendance drop out of college, nor anyone excelling in studies obtain a formal degree. Jeremie, no doubt, has a point!
Factors that Lead a Student to Drop Out:
Higher education holds the key to a better and fuller life. A full-time college degree without a doubt is a sure means of landing that dream job or furthering an academic career.
But higher education is a long term goal that warrants investment in terms of time and finances. Pursuing a college education often means relocation that demands social and personal adjustments.
From a change of friends to living in a dorm. Moreover, a regular college education requires one to be academically focused and is demanding.
Let’s take a quick look at the factors that leads most students to drop out of college:
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A survey conducted by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2017-18 found, high costs of education to be a significant factor among dropouts.
● Expenses: Yes, college is expensive, and the high costs of tuition coupled with boarding and other expenses make one dig deep into the pockets. The rising costs of higher education in the US have come under severe criticism recently. Financial constraints have been a significant factor for locals and well as international students dropping out of colleges.
● Financial Aids: The education loans and grants often come with a price. The constant pressure of repayment can take its toll when coupled with academic insecurities. While most financial institutions offer student and education loans, these demand collateral. For families with a single working parent, sending one of the children to college might mean depriving other members of the family of their essential needs. Scholarships often cover only a part of the expenses, and not all college-goers can get a scholarship.
● Work: The most common student visa in the US, permits any international student to work part-time, with restrictions. This exposure often is luring enough for many students to search for alternatives that offer professional advancement.
Life of a student takes its course and is often complicated. Adjusting to the cafeteria menus and negating cultural shocks can be draining.
● Expectations: Attending the college of one’s choice is laden with hope and expectations. The high landing admission to the college of one’s dream can easily shatter anyone if the expectations are not met.
● Adaptation: While far from a familiar environment, college demands one to change and adapt. It requires the right amount of flexibility and tolerance to adjust to college life.
● Fun: While adapting and trying to be ‘cool,’ one can easily overdo the ‘fun’ part. Unhealthy lifestyle habits can easily result in the death of the required credits.
Having the required credits to appear the exams and scoring high grades is the only goal of college? Yes, without a doubt. However dull and smooth it might sound, in practice, it is complicated.
● Course load: College education is extensive and requires an in-depth study. If the course material doesn’t challenge one, the assignments sure do. For students without a bright academic career ambition, it’s trainspotting. Which eventually lead to abandoning the ship?
● Hons. Choice: Electing one’s specialization during the admissions isn’t mandatory. While this saves many from an immediate commitment to a particular stream, it often becomes a significant factor in making or breaking one’s academic career.
● Course credits: Most universities in the US have readily available course credits. However, many students fail to attend college for the required number of hours to acquire the loans necessary to qualify as a regular. This often leads to an extension of the course duration and even discontinuation of college.
College education in the US can be expensive and demanding but is, without a doubt, rewarding. The long hours of preparation and the excruciating hardships endured to land an admission in the University of One’s Dreams can be reasons enough to ensure one completes college. Well, for Jeremie, I hope he has an infallible plan!