The full story behind college dropouts- and how to avoid becoming one
By Zach Young
With the commencement of high school for most seniors on the horizon, students are now looking syllabus week dead in the eyes. The stress and worry about the arrival to a new, unfamiliar scene is insurmountably coming upon college freshman. As essential as college is nowadays in terms of becoming employed and finding a well-paying job, many students just cannot handle the situation, leading them to become dropouts. There is always the myth of “the dropout millionaire” that may give false hope to many, and portray a detrimental image to young students.
So why do college students dropout? According to the U.S. News, there were “nearly 18.5 million students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.” Of this large amount of learners, only “58 percent will graduate over the course of six years.” The main reason shown in trends of the cause for dropouts is financial reasons. This issue leaves about 7.7 million students on average without a college education. As higher education has steadily increased its cost for tuition and housing, the increase in median pay has stayed relatively the same. This has created a problem for many looking for ways to pay for college, and also those who fear the burden of student loan debt after their four to six years are over. Other problems can relate to a students own detriment, as some do not meet the academic requirements to get their degree. Many find this to be a worst-case scenario, as you still have to pay for the years you attended, but have no degree to show. Statistically, when students leave “it’s unlikely they will return and finish their degree.”
There are ways for incoming freshman to avoid going down a path that many seem to be trending towards. Don’t try to do it all alone; colleges provide various services to help students, upperclassmen themselves can often times help with advice, and organizations that will aid in your personal goals, with solutions to achieve them. Do not procrastinate; skills many relied on in high school don’t always work in a college environment. Getting ahead, being prepared, learning how to manage time and newfound freedom, and finding ways of relieving stress will benefit any student and provide motivation to continue working towards a degree. Finally, do not hibernate in your dorm room. College is about getting out, exploring, meeting new people, and learning extensive amounts of new information. Communicating with others should eliminate the sense of loneliness and lead one away from thinking about dropping out.
This is not to say that people can’t make a great living for themselves by pursuing a passion that may not be through the traditional pathway of higher education. Nevertheless, for the students that are about to enter, it is important that they stay focused and push through towards a degree in a field they enjoy. It can open many more doors and possibilities for the future.