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Turns Out A Lot Of Students Who Drop-Out Of College Are Actually Super Close to Graduating

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TV shows and movies tend to portray college drop-outs as students who never tried. A new study by Civitas Learning has shown, however, that nearly one in five students who do not graduate have completed 75 percent or more of the credits needed for a typical degree. In other words, a large number of the students who do not graduate were only a semester or so away from completing their college degree. 

In a study of 53 partner institutions (30 community colleges and 23 four-year universities representing more than 300,000 degree-seeking students), Civitas found that at four-year institutions, around six percent of non-completing students had finished 90 percent of their credits; at two-year institutions, more than 15 percent were over the 90 percent threshold. Many of these students are transfers. 

According to data collected by the Community College Research Center at TC at Columbia, only 42 percent of community college students who transfer actually earn a Bachelor's degree. A large part of this is due to a lack of support for first-time or transfer students in universities. 

The University of Texas at Arlington. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“Students have to be college ready, but colleges have to be student ready, especially for the students of today, who…have a lot of different kinds of wants and needs,” Mark Milliron, the chief learning officer at Civitas told VOA News.

One school trying to increase its number of graduates is the University of Texas at Arlington, a four-year research institution that offers the largest nursing program in Texas. In 2017, according to Civitas, the university targeted 294 nursing students who only had one or two credits left, but were at-risk for dropping-out. The school created an email campaign aimed at these students with information on graduation and enrolling in the summer term. All but one of the 294 students either graduated or enrolled for the summer. 


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