Why college students stop short of a degree

Comments (14)
PenRumi wrote:

It is preferable to be educated and end up as a vagrant than to be uneducated and become a millionaire. A college-degree does not necessarily make a person smart; it provides tools to make a person a better citizen and deal with day-to-day problems. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zukerberg are rare exceptions – one in a million – and should never be used as an excuse to drop out of college or avoid going to college.

Mar 27, 2012 2:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
YoBucko wrote:

This is one of the biggest challenges young people face today. The rising cost of higher education is driving people out of school and putting them in deeper holes personally and financially than they ever before. When did a good degree become such a luxury in America? The cost of my master’s degree has gone up more than 10% in the last two years alone. The result – more student loans. But what happens to those people who have to drop out, can’t find jobs and can’t access traditional financial services until they raise their credit score?

Mar 27, 2012 5:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
degreeinlife wrote:

Educated and vagrant as opposed to uneducated and millionaire? Is that not completely contradictory to the American Dream? It’s a dog eat dog world, if you can get ahead by not becoming a slave in the broken American Education system than more power to you. The world has a greater need for people who can think large picture and fix current problems and innovate than those who are just following a single career path and never chasing their dreams.

-recent college dropout

Mar 27, 2012 5:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
degreeinlife wrote:

It is preferable to be educated and a vagrant than uneducated and a millionaire? What augmented reality are you living in? The World needs more thinkers and innovators over people who just follow a pre-destined path through a broken college education system. After all is that not the American Dream?

-recent college drop out

“Each invention leads to new inventions and each discovery to new discoveries;invention breeds invention, science begets science, the children of knowledge produce their kind in larger and larger familiesl the process goes on from decade to decade, from generation to generation.”

-Alfred Korzybski

Mar 27, 2012 6:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Trlewis wrote:

It’s too damn expensive, that’s why. By the time I graduate I’ll be tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt (I attend UC Santa Cruz). Tuition has sextupled in the decades previous far above the rate of inflation. I can afford this; I come from an upper-middle class family, however the sad truth is that most people don’t.

Mar 27, 2012 6:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
PseudoTurtle wrote:

The question is easily answered.

You states, “The failure to complete a college education in the United States is especially marked at four-year private for-profit schools, where 78 percent of attendees fail to get a diploma after six years, according to a 2011 report from the National Center for Education Statistics. That compares with 35 percent of students in nonprofit private schools and 45 percent of students in public colleges who failed to graduate after six years.”

It is obvious the “for-profit” schools are not in business to educate students, but to earn profits, which they seem to be doing quite well.

In the meantime, students in nonprofit schools, either private or public, are more interested in having students earn degrees.

The solution is very simple.

Stop wasting scarce education loans (and driving up student loan default rates) by not advancing federal funds to for-profit schools.

Mar 27, 2012 7:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Calvin2k wrote:

PenRumi, I agree completely, except – I’m not sure when you went to college – it is much more expensive now than it was a couple decades ago. Tuition has risen at a faster rate than both inflation and middle-class incomes. So as a result there are significant financial headwinds to staying in college if you are not wealthy to begin with.

On another note, the names Gates and Zuckerberg are always put forth as examples of successful college dropouts. Well, they both dropped out of HARVARD! They had already excelled academically at the high school level as demonstrated by their admission to that university, so they are in no way typical college dropouts.

Mar 27, 2012 7:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jellerbro wrote:

It’s most certainly not preferable to be educated and end up as a vagrant than to be uneducated and become a millionaire. Anybody who says otherwise has tuition fees that they’ll sell you.

College educations are merely internships to the professional world which you can get in the professional world. It’s awfully rare that a young individual knows exactly what degree to pursue for what will be the rest of their lives.

Kids- you’ve either got the intellect & work ethic or you don’t. Higher education isn’t going to provide intellect or real experience. It offers a piece of paper that costs you $50k that merely exemplifies that you can start something and see it through. If you need a college degree to succeed, you’re likely going to end up in politics or middle management.

With that said- I did go to college and have been employed the last 12 years as a software engineer. I graduated, after $40k of debt, with an Anthropology degree.

Mar 27, 2012 7:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
OnAnIsland wrote:

Many colleges enroll students knowing, even planning for a 50% failure rate. The reason that they do this is simple greed. Students are money and if the student has to borrow to hope they can get ahead, there is no one more gullible. Many state universities get generous subsidies for enrollment, not graduates. Harvard with a 99% graduation rate is the exception but they are geared for success. (Yes, Gates was the exception.) All too many universities are geared for failure, pulling the rug out from under a student after they get as much of their money as possible. And Calvin, the reason costs are up is because universities have changed from an institution to a business.

Mar 27, 2012 9:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yamayoko wrote:

Education is a lifetime experience. You quit it now doesn’t mean you give it up for good. But opportunities may never come again if missed and not cashed in.

Mar 27, 2012 10:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jellerbro wrote:

Opinions are censored on reuters.com? Brilliant!

Mar 28, 2012 2:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
KJenkins wrote:

It’s worth noting that students of career colleges have higher graduation rates than their community college peers. According to a 2011 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, Attending For-Profit Postsecondary Institutions: Demographics, Enrollment Characteristics, and 6-Year Outcomes, about 53 percent of career college students who enroll in diploma programs (which are typically less than two years) graduate and nearly 40 percent who enroll in two-year programs get a diploma or degree. On the other hand, less than 35 percent of community college students graduate with a diploma or degree. But regardless of who’s up and who’s down, we should all be striving to improve graduation rates, so as many students as possible can reap the life-long benefits of post-secondary education and training.

Kent Jenkins Jr.
Corinthian Colleges

Mar 28, 2012 11:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
PeterMelzer wrote:

Historically, the average incomes of college graduates have outperformed those of high school graduates manifold over the span of a career. Perhaps Ms. Eordogh should not have sought an education at an expensive private college. It is best to keep student loans as low as possible from the get-go.

Good public schools still deliver the biggest bang for the buck, at least for in-state students.
Read more here:

Mar 28, 2012 11:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
doral697 wrote:

I don’t agree that just because you have a degree you are educated. It’s easy to skate and just get by like in high school and still get a diploma. I know of cases where people have shown up to 1 or 2 classes all semester and still the professor will give them a passing C grade. Do what you want and don’t overlook trade schools and apprenticeships as well.

Mar 30, 2012 8:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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