Most students cannot graduate from college in four years. A new report, American Dream 2.0, found that 46 percent of students who attend U.S. colleges do not graduate within six years. At CCNY only 10 percent of students get out in four years, and 40 percent of students graduate in six years. Many don’t make it out at all.
Why? It’s not because of laziness or that classes are so hard. It’s generally a question of money. Tuition has gone up and financial aid is declining. Because of this, student loans have doubled to $113 billion. To make things worse many of the students end up with extreme amounts of debt and no degree in the end. Many just give up.
“I don’t blame them for dropping out,” says Steven Lee, an engineering major, of the high drop out rate.
“Sometimes I feel like dropping out myself but I’m not willing to take that risk.” Lee continues, “College is hard and stressful. Knowing that you put in all this work to struggle in the future is not worth the trouble.”
Celeste Carhuamaca agrees. “The school is not making it easier for us,” says the psychology major. “You would think tuition would go down so that more people without financial aid can afford it, but they increased it instead.”
CCNY’s administration hopes to raise the six-year graduation rate to 50 percent by 2017. But some students will never see that day. And media reports that question whether college is worth it fuel the fire. Maria Santiago, majoring in political science, notes, “College is not for everyone.”
The best way to avoid taking forever to graduate or dropping out altogether: Study hard, get experience through internships and take college one day at a time–but don’t make it too many days.