College Graduation Rates Plummeting; Dropouts Blame Finances

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College drop outs resulted in $4.5 BILLION in lost income and taxes last year according to American Institutes for Research. Two websites and conducted an online survey to discover why.

68% of the drop outs who responded to an online survey by and stated that they blamed financial circumstances for their dropping out.

There is a high cost to stay in college today but there is a higher cost to drop out.
According to the American Institutes for Research last year alone resulted in the following due to dropping out:

  • $3.8 billion in lost income;
  • $566 million in lost federal income taxes; and
  • $164 million in lost state income taxes.

According to the Department of Education only 50% of all freshman will graduate within five years. Looking closer the number reveal that only 41 percent of low-income students entering a four-year college graduate but 66 percent of high-income students did. That gap is growing.

One of the dropouts wrote: "I could say family obligations caused me to drop out. But the truth is that if I did not have to work to pay what the loans and scholarships did not cover I could have handled the family obligations fine."

Another stated: "I just could not keep up with my class work while working 30 hours a week."

Drop outs are very costly over the lifetime of the student. Looking at the American Institutes for Research numbers by state reveals that In California, for example, “college dropouts are losing nearly $15 billion in earnings over their work lives, costing the federal government more than $3 billion in lost income taxes.” Texas and New York “are losing more than $13 billion in earnings over their lifetime and more than $2.5 billion in federal taxes.” claims there are less expensive alternatives to getting the diploma. Three Regionally Accredited US programs allow students to test out.

Sheila Danzig, founder of said, "Students need to take advantage of what is available to them to insure that they have the best chance at successful career."

For more information on these options go to


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sheila danzig

Sheila Danzig
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