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Making it to college is not an easy task and even though many young people want to succeed academically, this only remains a dream as they fail to finish college. There are many contributing factors of failure to complete college. Besides the trend of college drop out is so alarming, and its negative effects on the US economy is very much evident. This research paper will discuss the reasons for college drop out and at the same time determine its effects on the economy of the US.
College students dropping out of school means those students terminate their college education before they finish the course. College dropout may be caused by students themselves or by factors they have no control over. Examples are failure by students to committee their time and effort to class work and other factors like sickness, bankruptcy (San Juan, 126). Consequently, it is obvious that college dropout is caused by various reasons and it has negative impact to the victim and the larger society i.e. the US government.
Reasons leading to students' dropping out of school
Sharingouressays.blogspot.com (3) there are many contributing factors to college drop out. First, a good number of students are forced to terminate their college education before completion because they cannot afford the tuition fee, "One reason which students decide to drop out of school is because they don't have enough money to afford it" (Sharingouressays.blogspot.com, 2).This happens in cases when their families can no longer afford the bills due to loss of job by either one or both parents. The other reason could be that the parents/guardians are on a low salary.
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Singleton-Rickman (5) also argues that besides failure to afford the tuition fees, some students seek and get a well paying job before they finish college. Time to attend on both the job and school may be limited; they fail to balance between school and the job or they develop a strong preference for the job all together. It is common sense for someone to think that a job as long it is well paying, even without completion of college education, will still earn him or her good life than schooling.
Another cause of students' failure to complete college is that they are not able to pass their course exams. Some students find some units in their courses too hard. Failure in a number of units contributes to the eventual flop in their entire course. Majority of the students find mathematics to hard. In cases of failing the exams, students are required to reseat for the subjects failed. To some this is not possible and the only option is to drop out. They end up doing other things that don't involve exams or rather don't require them to think. This sentiment is shared by Jain (26), "Failure is seemingly the most important reason for dropout, according to Suma Chitnis. Kamat's study has also shown that the lower the performance level, the more is wastage in education or dropout."
Borjas (2) states that more often than not, students fail to go through college because of the demanding work. On joining college, majority of the students have their first opportunity to full freedom. Failure to effectively deal with this freedom causes failure to concentrate on the academics hence eventual dropout. This results from disillusionment, so they drop out regardless of whether they hard performed well or not.
Some times the students have no control over factors that leads to dropping out of school. These include unforeseen things that happen to a student forcing him or her to drop out of school. Things like illness and their effects on the health of the student; physical disability and mental disorientation among others forces students to abandon college either for a short time or permanently (Jain, 26)
In addition to the above reasons, students usually find college life as a culture shock. There is a lot of fun and partying during weekends. Students engage in all sorts of fun and pleasure that include alcoholism, drug abuse and even some female students are forced into prostitution in order to get money and afford the kind of life they want; partying. Students also do encounter situations on campus that leads to stress and depression. The most common is failed love relationships. This is likely to lead students breaking out of school (San Juan, 126-127)
Blog.gocollege.com (5) says, "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." This has an implication that another very common cause of students leaving college before completion is home nostalgia. At times of solitude and disillusionment, students desire to be home probably with their parents from whom they can get consolation and tender care. For whatever problem they might be facing, students are in most cases unable to handle pressure and grief such that they cannot carry on with their college education. They are forced to quit.
In college, students find it hard to carry on without direction and care of the parents. Guiding and counseling services available on campus are ineffective such that they are not easily accessible in some cases. Without the knowledge of how to deal with the problems of new environment, peer pressure and loneliness can lead to the factors mentioned above and their contribution to college drop out (Borjas, 107).
Effects of college drop out on the US economy
Studies in the US have indicated that college dropout had significant negative impact on the economy of the United States. It is also argued that high college dropout rates leads to reduced income of the dropouts for the rest of their lives. "In 1995, the median earnings of Hispanics males aged 25 to 34 with a bachelors degree or higher were almost 50 percent higher than those of Hispanic males who had had some college study but had not completed a four- year degree" (San Juan, 126).This goes a long way in reducing the overall economic growth rate of individual states and the entire nation. The US government invests millions of billion dollars in education infrastructure. Besides, the government also spends a lot of money inform of sponsorship, scholarships and education loans to its citizens through high school, college, university and other forms of trainings. The objective of this program is to increase the human resource base. However the high college drop rates threatens the achievement of this objective leading to indirect loss of billions of dollars that would have been used to do other gainful investments ( Singleton-Rickman, 4).
Blog.gocollege.com (1) reports that in the year 2009, Alabama State missed out on some additional $6.5 billion in income. If at all the students had graduated and lived to work and earn, their earnings would have contributed to the states and the overall national gross domestic product. They would have also contributed to the national economic growth through paying tax. All these don't happen somehow because of students dropping out of colleges.
Additionally, the resultant problem of college drop out in the US is inadequacy of trained manpower. This leads to competition for the available employment opportunities between citizens and the immigrants. The immigrants come to US to seek jobs. The employers usually go for the cheap labor usually provide by these immigrants. As a result of this, the economy is deprived as the immigrants remit money back to their countries instead of investing in the United States of America. This leads to loss of capital by the US government. Precisely, the diploma is the most crucial trade and industry stimulus. It was further recommended that much effort should be directed to preventing the increasing rates of college students dropping out of school (Borjas, 107).
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Singleton-Rickman (5) is quick to note that high rates of college drop out leads to high crime rates in the US. Many youths end up without source of livelihood; this forces them to engage in antisocial means of survival like mugging, armed robberies. Borjas (108) notes, "... drop outs are more likely to miss out on job opportunity; they are idle at most times and may opt to engage in drug and substance abuse". The outcome is increased population of unproductive youths who are a source of insecurity and at the same time a burden to the government for the basic human needs like health services among others.
The high rate of dropout in the United States of America is projected to be even higher by the end of this decade. This is projected to be around 13 million students. These posses a great risk of loss of national wealth to a tune of approximately $3 trillion. Singleton-Rickman (4) points out that, "Nationwide, more than 7,000 students become dropouts every school day. Annually, that adds up to almost 1.3 million students who will not graduate from high school on schedule."
College dropout leads to low numbers of the grandaunts. This should be of great concern because the developing societies are in high demand of public and community service; opportunities that are to be filled up by fully trained human resource. Borjas (107) explains, "... negative impacts on workers up to some college level, with immigration harming the employment prospects and lowering the wage of competing native workers. The lowest skilled were hardest hit: wages fell by 8.9 percent for high school dropouts..."
Students who drop out of school have very slim chances of securing a good life. Higher graduation rates means the people, community, state and the nation in general will earn higher income. The quality of life for the citizens will be good with socioeconomic security. This also goes ahead to prevent students from engaging in crimes, they have a longer and healthy lives, they enjoy financial independency, they create a productive populations contributing to reduction in the government's burden of providing for health care and other services like food donations etc.
In conclusion, college students dropout of school because of various reasons; these causes are lack of tuition fee, failure to balance between job and college for those who start working while still in college, home nostalgia and finally poor academic performance. Many factors are associated to college dropout but these are the most outstanding ones. It is thought that dropping out of school is not a problem; the problem is rather the cause. College dropout has negative effects on the economy of any nations. In the US, it was found to reduce the overall income of the state. College dropout also limits the chances of these young men succeeding in life hence they become less productive for the nation. This might lead to an increased burden to the government through services to the people in terms of health services etc.