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5 Tips to Avoid Being a College Dropout Statistic

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5 Tips to Avoid Being a College Dropout Statistic

In a study by the National Center for Education Statistics of a sample of 19,000 American students found that within six years of enrollment in college:

  • 35 percent of students had not received any type of degree and were no longer enrolled at any institution.

  • 46 percent of students who initially enrolled in two-year institutions did not receive any type of degree and were no longer enrolled at any institution.

These statistics show that there is a significant number of students who enter college and do not attain a degree. What can be done to ensure that you don’t become one of those dropout statistics?

1. Do your research.

It’s just plain smart to do the hard work to know why and where you want to go to college. Refine your list of choices to include the colleges with an academic program that's suit your interests and a setting and faculty that make you feel comfortable. Choose a place where you can see yourself flourishing.

2. Understand the money.

Make sure you can pay for college and that you’re comfortable with repaying any loans you secure to finance it. Verify that your scholarships will be available for the course of your enrollment and what requirements need to be met to keep them. Do some calculations that show you the true cost of attendance using college cost calculators.

3. Be invested in the process.

If college is your goal, you need to be invested in the process. Contribute to your education financially and you will be more likely to reach your goals. Going to college just for the sake of going or because you think it’s what you are supposed to do will not keep you there.

4. Be realistic about obstacles.

College, like life, will have its own set of obstacles. When you encounter them, get help. Seek advice from a mentor or another student. Get tutoring if you find you’re struggling with your classes. Speak with a professor if you need clarification or assistance on projects. Ask your dorm Resident Assistant to help resolve roommate conflicts. Don’t let problems fester until they are out of control.

[Looking for more info? Check out our article on the importance of freshman year.]

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Written by Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer counsels parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation. Her Parents Countdown to College Coach blog offers timely college tips for parents and students, as well as providing parents with the resources necessary to help their college-bound teens navigate the college maze.

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