Why is the number of dropouts so high? Granted, some students drop out because they’re too lazy to apply themselves, while others drop out because they really aren’t interested in obtaining a higher education and only enrolled to please their parents or because their friends were going to college. However, these students seem to be in the minority. According to a study conducted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2009, the main reason students drop out of college is “because they need money for survival” (Allgov.com).
Echoing the findings of the Gates’ Foundation, Public Agenda, a nonpartisan research group, released a 2009 report showing that “most dropouts leave college because they have trouble going to school while working to support themselves.” The report, entitled “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them,” was based on a survey of more than 600 individuals aged 22 to 30 and compared those students who began college but did not graduate to those who earned a degree from either a two-year or four-year institution of higher education. (Lewin, 2009)
Working Students More Likely to Drop Out of College
Unlike in the past, many students today work and have families, and although they might receive financial aid of some sort, it’s not enough to live on or to support a family. Complicating the problem, according to Jean Johnson, executive vice president of Public Agenda, is the fact that few working students receive any financial assistance from their families and those receiving financial aid from the educational system find it insufficient. (Lewin, 2009)
Interestingly, the Public Agenda study noted (with a margin of error of plus or minus five percent, of first year college dropout students) that nearly six in ten did not receive any tuition assistance from parents. This is in contrast to the data which showed that among students who graduated, more than six in ten received tuition assistance from parents. (Lewin, 2009)