In 2014 Slate reported that 55% of the first-time college undergraduates who stared their education in 2007 did not have a degree six years later. http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/11/19/u_s_college_dropouts_rates_explained_in_4_charts.html CreditDonkey doesn’t sound like a site anyone would want to quote, but they have some of the latest statistics concerning college degrees. I their 2017 report, the college dropout rate has climbed to 57%. https://www.creditdonkey.com/college-dropout-statistics.html Do these number scare you? They should…
When I first caught wind of these kinds of statistics, I was lecturing and advising students at Texas A&M University. A little more research showed me that only about 46% of the students who do graduate, do not begin their careers in areas that utilize their major. These things really made me question why anyone should spend so much time and money in pursuit of a college degree. If you are wondering why news like this shook my confidence so badly, it is because I spent the first 10 years after graduating from high school as a college student. Three degrees were the result of all that school, but the question of whether all those years of education were worth the effort wouldn’t go away.
I started to watch the students in my department and take note the decisions they made. When given the opportunity, I attempted to steer them clear of a difficult situation and help them recover from the damage done by learning from the school of hard knocks. Most were able to get back on their feet but a few lost their taste for college and went home.
After several years of observing students make a mess of college in every conceivable way, I decided that most students who struggled were not prepared to be successful in college. They usually had very good high school GPA’s and test scores but didn’t understand the necessity of getting to EVERY class on time, reading assigned work and studying long before the day of a test.
Most of the students who got in grade trouble only needed a few short sessions of life skills training to get back on track; some had been raised so sheltered that they could not function away from home; and some only needed a goal to pursue so that they didn’t keep going in circles. These are the reasons I decided to become a college planner. Being smart isn’t all there is to getting in and succeeding in college and the sooner someone informs a family considering sending their child to college, the better.