Why Students Drop Out of College
Each fall a new crop of first year college students, wavering between high hopes for the future and intense anxiety about their new status, scan college maps searching for their classrooms. They have been told repeatedly that college is the key to a well-paying job, and they certainly don't want to support themselves by flipping hamburgers or working at some other dead-end job. So, notebooks at the ready, they await what college has in store. Unfortunately many of them-indeed over thirty percent-will not return after the first year. Why do so many students leave? There are several reasons. Students leave college because they either find the academic program too hard, lack the proper study habits or motivation, fall victim to the temptations of the college environment, or simply for preexisting personal reasons. Not surprisingly, the academic shortcomings of college students have strong links to high school. In the past, a high-school student who lacked the ability or desire to take a college-preparatory course could settle for a diploma in general studies and afterward find a job with decent pay. Now that possibility scarcely exists, so many poorly prepared students feel compelled to try college. Getting accepted by some schools isn't difficult. Once in, though, the student who has taken nothing beyond general mathematics, English, and science faces serious trouble when confronted with college algebra, freshman composition, and biological or physical science. Most colleges do offer remedial courses and other assistance that may help some weaker students to survive. In spite of everything, however, many others find themselves facing ever-worsening grade point averages and either fail or just give up. Like academic shortcomings, poor study habits have their roots in high school, where even average students can often breeze through with a minimum of effort. In many schools, outside assignments are rare and so easy that...
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