Obama’s Race to the Top vs. dropouts

March 15, 2010

President Obama desire is that America is once again the leader in college graduates. An educated society is a prosperous society.

So why do kids drop out of college? Reasons range from homesick, finances and having the wrong expectations.

  • Homesickness and feeling that you don’t fit in. It’s a whole new world out there, and you may not be ready to embrace it. Avoid this by plugging into the college systems
  • Educational burnout. While college gives you control and flexibility over your schedule, the hard demanding schedule, challenging courses, and boatload of homework certainly has turned a lot of students away from the desire to continue. Avoid this by have a graduation goal & stick to it. Have a minimum 4 year school goal.
  • Academic unpreparedness. Sometimes, high school didn’t really prepare students for college. Other times, students slacked off in high school and paid the price during their post-secondary years. The high school goal was to pass (so that students could get into college); in college, it is to succeed. Avoid this by create positive study habits. Seek help from others.
  • Personal or family issues. You may have had an unfortunate illness in the family or you yourself just got totally get stressed out from the workload. If this happens, speak with the admissions office and ask them to hold a spot for you to return & have a plan to return and finish your goal.
  • Financial constraints. Tuition costs continue to soar, and scholarships or grants are not always available. Additionally, financial situations can change from year to year. There are many options from federal, state and institutional aid (however, picking the right college, a college that has generous historical giving pattern is part of the key to unlock dollars) Look at careers that have a student loan forgiveness program. Also consider community college.
  • Too much fun — but not enough education. Some students take advantage of their friendships, which could put them on academic probation due to suffering grades or absence in classes. This is not a viable excuse because it is a cause and effect resulting from improper study habits.
  • The school isn’t a good academic fit for the student. You’ve selected a great school that is very arts-centric. However, you realize that you like the sciences better. Similarly, you may hate the average class size of 100 and prefer much smaller classes for more individualized attention. This can be avoided by properly researching colleges BEFORE picking a school. College selection research should start in the Sophomore year of high school.
  • Setting sights on the wrong major. You may have wanted to be a doctor but after taking several science classes, you decided that you’re rather go into marketing. Does your school have a marketing major? If not, you’re likely to go elsewhere. This can be avoided by properly researching majors BEFORE picking a school. Internships and career research are essential, as well as career assessment tools.
  • No guidance or mentors. In high school, teachers and counselors were there to guide you, as high school classes are typically smaller than the entering freshman class. It’s a lot harder to get the personalized attention that you’ve been used to and that could turn people off quickly. Avoid this by Plug into the college system, the college staff can’t help you if you do not actively seek help.
  • External demands, particularly within part time or full time employment. Can we say Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook? When the job puts too many demands on you, you may have to choose, and money usually wins out. If you make a billion dollars on a venture go for it. But don’t drop out until after the bucks start rolling in.

AZCollegePlanning.com has programs that educate kids (and parents) about the entire college process. The goal is to get in, STAY IN (but not stay too long) and graduate on time and as a bonus, do all this without busting the piggy bank. Check us out, we’re here to help. We help make college affordable!

-J.D. Wyczalek (why-zall-ick)

Founder AZCollegePlanning.com

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