Students across the country will take their first course toward a bachelor's degree this fall. But a large portion of those students will have no degree four, or even six, years later. In particular, low-income students are less likely to finish a degree than their higher-income peers.
Debate on this issue often focuses on the cost of school, including the availability of student loans or the price of tuition. But the difficulties of balancing school and work life are more often to blame, according to a report from Public Agenda:
The vast majority of young people who made the decision to leave college without a degree (or, in effect, had the decision made for them by circumstances) point first to options that would give them more flexibility in schedules and help them mitigate the challenge of working and going to school at the same time.
Eight in 10 of those who did not complete college supported two proposals that they believe would make college graduation feasible: 1) making it possible for part-time students to be eligible for more financial aid ... and 2) offering more courses in the evening and on weekends so that they could continue working while taking classes.
Undergraduate enrollment in the United States has more than doubled since 1970. But the rate of degree completion has remained largely stable over that time, according to Complete College America, a non-profit founded in 2009 to address this issue.
On The Daily Circuit, we discuss ways to support degree-seekers in achieving their academic goals.
The Daily Circuit has been looking into higher education in this month. Check out our recent coverage:
If you have college credits under your belt, but never completed your degree, what stopped you from finishing? How could your college or university have better supported you through the finish line? Leave your comment below.