ADAMS, CARALEE. "Colleges Try To Unlock Secrets To Student Retention." Education Digest 77.4 (2011): 19. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
"Key Facts about California Community Colleges." Key Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
"College Drop Out Rates - Who's to Blame?" - StateUniversity.com Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
April 28, 2014
Community College Attrition
Every year thousands of caps fly in the air like confetti for high school graduation. Many of these graduates are eager to start their freshman year of college. Although many of these individuals get accepted to community colleges not all of them graduate. Throughout the years college attrition has been a big concern. College attrition is a reduction in number of students attending college who don’t finish their courses and graduate. It is estimated that 40% of college students will leave higher education without getting a degree, with 75% percent of these students leaving within their first two years of college (College Drop Out Rates - Who's to Blame?) Three of the most significant factors that contribute to the high rate of attrition in community colleges are financial issues, the lack of interest and a family member becoming ill.
Most students come from families that earn minimum wages and not all of them qualify for financial aid. According to the article Key Facts about California Community Colleges, Fees increased from $20/unit in 2008-09 academic year to $46/unit in summer 2012 – a 130 percent increase in a period of three academic years. For many of these students it becomes even harder to pay for their education because of their legal status. College tuition, books, and units are expensive, so they are forced to work part-time jobs to earn money and help pay for their education. Most of the jobs students acquire are demanding and time consuming so they are unable to keep up with assignments and attend daily class. This becomes a challenge for them because they have to juggle school, and work at the same time. In most cases work becomes a priority because money is needed to survive and the only option students have is to dropout. At the beginning of the each semester students are excited to start this new journey. They are confident and motivated to get educated. Sadly, not all students remain with the same motivation throughout the entire semester. The main subjects that students have difficulty with the most are English and math. These two subjects can easily discourage anyone, but they are essential in order to transfer to a University. Unfortunately, as the courses move along some students start being absent constantly and they fall behind. Their assignments begin to pile up and the stress begins to creep in. Most students are unable to overcome the struggle and they get discouraged. For many of them their self-confidence decreases and their efforts diminish. Students don’t believe in themselves and their school performance is poor. Although colleges offer help to help improve the academic performance of students it is obviously not enough. Insufficient preparation also contributes to the lack of interest. Students are not well prepared after they graduate from high school, and their consistency of commitment is lost through the process. “One year after high school graduation, more than half of students found college more difficult than expected, and many wished they had taken tougher classes in high school” (Adams). Many times high schools don’t give enough information to the graduates of the options they have in order to continue with their education and enroll into college.
For a college student there are different types of obstacles that come across one’s personal life such family members becoming ill, other professional opportunities being presented, joining the military, or becoming a parent. Unfortunately having a family