Now, that is one heck of a question!
Even though Bill Gates himself is a college dropout, he has mentioned that this matter must be addressed. He stated, “The U.S. has one of the highest rates of college dropouts. We’re number one in terms of the number of people who start college but we’re number 20 in terms of the people who finish college”.
Gates wrote in his blog “Based on the latest college completion trends, only about half of all those students that start college (meaning 50%) will leave college with a diploma or degree. The rest —most of them low-income, first-generation, and minority students— will not finish a degree. They’ll drop out and leave without a diploma”. FYI: Trio Student Support Services (TRIO SSS) are of huge help by sticking around for the most vulnerable students in their college completion.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has as one of their objectives to help and invest big time in education, but even with all the power of Microsoft, the percentage of college dropouts has not been able to decrease in the past years.
College is supposed to be a fun, once in a lifetime opportunity where students get to acquire knowledge, experience and specialize in what most probably end up being their profession for most of their working life, but most importantly, is a privilege.
Every time a college student drops out from college and does not earn a degree or diploma, the chances for them to earn a substantial salary becomes harder, and in consequence to have a steady income.
College students drop out for a variety of reasons. Some students believe that they are too far behind academically, others because of problems at home, financial problems, unprepared for academic disciplines. Whatever the reason may be, there are departments at colleges and universities whose only objective is to bring support to students and increase the retention rate, such as; Student Success Centers, TRIO SSS Departments, Student Support Services, tutoring centers (just to name a few).
The solution does not only reside in colleges/universities but there are also financial institutions, their parents moreover students should be able to help themselves. But if we are just going to focus on what colleges can do, for instance:
- Lower costs (as much as possible)
- Teach students how to study and prepare for evaluations
- Provide efficient tutoring and advisement
- Support their mental health
- Provide family support mechanisms
- Helped students make informed decisions
And overall, the objective is to make an enjoyable experience for the student and to feel fortunate to be able to attend college.