The College Completion Shortfall

More than 70% of America’s youth start some kind of advanced training or education within two years of obtaining their high school diploma. Yet for far too many, the journey ends long before graduation day as they drop out of college.

Over half of all students who begin a four year bachelor’s degree program finish and less than three of ten students who begin at community colleges full time graduate with an associate’s degree in three years time. As a result, the United States is falling behind global competitors. Today, the US rants 10th in the percentage of young people with a college degree. For the first time in US history, the current generation will be less educated than their parent’s generation, unless things change rapidly.

During this recession, unemployment rates are twice as high as those with a high school education than for those people with a college degree. The reason that America is falling short is due to the fact that most college students work at least 20 hours per week and many are juggling family responsibilities as well. Another reason is due to the fact that the old American ideal of college represents just a quarter of today’s students.

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