Reasons Why Many Community College Students Don’t Graduate


Many students who start at community colleges are unable to earn a bachelor's degree and finish a four-year course. This may be because of several factors including poor financial aid, lower student expectations, focus on vocational courses and many others.

A 2014 study suggests that the biggest obstacle to community college students in trying to earn a bachelor's degree is lost college credits, according to CBS News. However, a recent research states that something else causes the community college students to withdraw from their institutions.

The report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement released during the 2017 Achieving the Dream conference today revealed that the reason why many community college students do not finish higher education is because of their lack of finances, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Evelyn Waiwaiole, director of the center, said that all of the academic supports can be put in place but it will not be enough especially for those having issues with financial insecurity.

The report surveyed nearly 100,000 community college students from 177 schools. The survey found that 4 out of 10 are recipients of federal Pell Grants, and 61 percent of them live below the poverty line. Because of this, many of them were found to have difficulty to make both ends meet, especially when they have dependent children.

Katharine Broton, a researcher at the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said that the results were not really surprising and it still boils down to the issue of college affordability.

She also said that college students have very limited access to publicly-funded safety net because they have to be qualified to be eligible. The end result is that students tend to sacrifice other important things in order to pursue their goals.

Waiwaiole concluded that it is not just the constant rise in the tuition and fees that makes it more difficult for students to finish their degree; but it is also about the increasing costs of transportation, child care costs and other things that have been increasing tremendously.

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