About 69.7% of high school graduates enroll in college, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report. Of those students, only about 58% are expected to earn a degree within 6 years. Why? There are many barriers to education, some of which can stop college dreams before they begin or stall them in their tracks.
Four years of private college costs an average of $35,000, and that amount is expected to rise annually. And that’s just for the tuition. You also have to pay for books, supplies and living expenses while you’re in school. For many students, the costs can make higher education close to impossible. The price wasn’t always so daunting. There’s been a 213% increase in college tuition since the late 1980s, reports CNBC.
Rising costs have caused many students to have to work through school or put off college until later. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a little over 31% of recent high school graduates enrolled in a four-year college are working. Over half of those enrolled in a community college or two-year program also have a job. The statistics for non-traditional students are undoubtedly higher. Working while going to school takes major dedication and time-management skills, and although many people do pull it off, not everyone can.
College readiness is a barrier that can affect anyone, but it’s more common among first-generation college students. In many cases, these students didn’t receive the education in high school to prepare them for the rigors of higher education. They may have attended low-performing elementary schools, which placed them behind the pace car from day one, or they might not have gained the foundation they needed from home. Lack of readiness can make it difficult for students to pass placement tests and perform successfully in college.
College students need support to be successful, but some have very little of it. Support comes in many forms including emotional, financial, academic, physical and spiritual. It helps to know someone is behind you, urging you on. But the basics — a shoulder to cry on, a comfortable home to live in, time to study, a lot of encouragement — can make or break a person. Lack of support is one of the reasons why only 2% to 9% of foster children complete college.
In today’s economy and social environment, getting a college degree isn’t a foregone conclusion; it can be nearly impossible for some people. If you wish to pursue one despite the difficulties, you must find ways to overcome the obstacles you’re facing. Start with your advisor, as they can help you find solutions to the individual problems you’re facing. If you don’t have one, get a virtual advisor and start working past your barriers today.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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