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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

The new college try: 40% of students won't earn a credential

College graduates are earn a lot more than people with only a high school diploma, on average. They tend to be healthier and happier. But most Americans aren't completing college, according to a new report by the National Center for Education Statistics.


Federal researchers tracked federal more than 20,000 students who started ninth grade in 2009, reports Sarah D. Sparks on Education Week. Eight years after they should have finished high school, two-thirds had not completed a vocational certificate or college degree.


Twenty-six percent of students who started ninth grade in 2009 didn't go on to enroll in college, and another 40 percent enrolled but didn't finish a certificate or degree within eight years, the longitudinal study found.


Of those who ever enrolled in college, 60 percent completed a certificate or degree.


Not surprisingly, students from affluent families were more likely to enroll in college and complete degrees.


Asian-American students, who tend to have the highest grades and test scores, were the most likely to enroll in college (86 percent) and to earn a bachelor's degree (67 percent). Whites were next (75 percent enrolled, 50 percent earned a four-year degree), followed by Hispanics (65 percent, 30 percent) and blacks (59 percent, 29 percent.)


Students who'd earned dual-enrollment credits in high school were more likely to complete a degree.


Only 19 percent of college enrollees completed a STEM credential. In another non-surprise, success rates correlated with high school math grades.


Americans are losing confidence in higher education: Only 36 percent of those polled by Gallup last year said they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education, down from 57 percent in 2015. Even among college graduates, only half express "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in higher education.


College readiness is down due to Covid disruptions. High absenteeism, high anxiety and smartphone addiction will make young people even less prepared for higher education (or the workforce). Maybe they can all be influencers.

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13 comentarios


JK Brown
JK Brown
13 abr

Remember, going college offers no economic improvement in the students future. Only gettting the credential, "magic parchment" has value. If you drop out the day before you get your diploma, your college has been wasted as far as putting it on a resume or qualifying for a job.


Some do learn useful things in college that they can use to earn a living even without the magic parchment, but they are few and far between. They are also those who would have been successful even if they hadn't gone to college.

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Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
15 abr
Contestando a

Most dropouts are gone by the first day of what should be their sophomore year. "Some college" used to have some value in the labor market, but I think it no longer does. There are too many dropouts with very poor skills and work habits.

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Richard Rider
Richard Rider
11 abr

Sadly, most kids don't feel compelled to work hard for what is FOR THEM a free college experience -- in lieu of getting a job. I myself wasted too much of my first two years in college. After being kicked out of my university, fortunately I figured out that I better change my ways -- or else. Only then did I proceed to get the highest GPA average at NC State that fall, and went on to a satisfying career using my Economics BA and Navy Supply Officer experience.

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tango5204
11 abr

I'd like to know what percentage of that 40% who go and never end up with a degree also have student debt. That's the worst situation of all.


I'd also like to understand what this looks like when technical school certification is included. If you drop out of college and enroll in a tech school and get a welding, contractors, or nursing license then I'm a lot less concerned about college drop out rates.

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Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
15 abr
Contestando a

Many dropouts start at low-cost community colleges and drop out quickly. They rarely take out loans, though those who do have lots of trouble paying them back because they're so poorly skilled. The ones with huge debts often got a bachelor's degree, couldn't get a decent job and went back for a master's degree. (Those who borrowed for medical school owe a lot, but earn a lot. Lawyers vary in earnings.)

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rob
11 abr

College was never supposed to be for everyone. Trying to force everyone into college has caused no end of harm.

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superdestroyer
11 abr

Once again, one can have high standards or high graduation rates. One cannot have both unless one just prescreens the applicants and greatly reduces the number of college students to begin with.

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