First, parents and students should know that, in 2019, completing a undergraduate degree is taking not four, but an average SIX years for our college students. There are many reasons to be concerned about this. The first is that tuition is no longer a tuition x four figure, but a tuition x six figure — increasing the debt burden of our students.
Another issue is that many students find that they are forced to take out loans to cover the ever-increasing costs of their college education. There are many cases where students find that they have reached their ceiling, and cannot take out more loans. So, you have students who can’t go forward to graduation because they can’t afford to, and they have to stop going to school. No degree, saddled with debt……can you imagine the nightmare?
The Damage Report covers the scandal of college drop out rates — which are hovering around 40% nationally. No, you didn’t read that incorrectly. FORTY PERCENT of our undergraduate students are unable to finish their work and receive a degree.
One of the points made in this program is that “nobody is there” to see that the students are struggling, to see that the students aren’t able to continue, for whatever reason. Why is nobody there? Because 75% of all university faculty are not hired on full-time contracts, which would allow them to be available on campus, not only to teach classes but to mentor their students. When those 75% of faculty are being hired on short-term (one semester) contracts, earning poverty wages (on average $27,000/year gross), the scholars who had traditionally been the very core of our universities are no longer even THERE on campus because they are working several jobs a semester, running from one college to another, or rushing to a service job, or a job driving Uber.
The reality is that college students are dropping out at high rates because the faculty on campuses have already been driven out.
Anyone considering attending university should seriously consider exploring options in other countries, where education is more highly respected, and where educators are supported in their profession with full-time jobs, an office on campus, and the ability to establish relationships with their students that provide the supports the students require.