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The College Epidemic

Luke Tyler, Co-Editor

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One of the biggest struggles of high school is trying to perfect your resume to get into a good college. However, many of us do not think of the new problems that come with college and the difficulty of staying in school. According to collegeatlas.org, “30% of college freshmen drop out after their first year of college.” This percentage may seem fairly small, but thinking in a different perspective, at a school like Rutgers, out of the 11,180 people enrolled in the class of 2020, 3354 students will drop out according to that percentage. And as a result of dropping out, it is predicted that these people will now be making $17,500 less than college graduates, as stated by GoodCall.com.

The biggest question to be answered is: why are a large number of college students dropping out after their first year of college?

One of the most obvious reasons is the increasing cost of college. A common occurrence is that students get into the college of their choice and end up attending with no way of paying for the price of that education. Most students will take out student loans to help pay the tuition, but it just is not enough to satisfy the ever-growing cost of college and the rate of student debt. Part of the problem is the absurd price of college. A public in-state school will cost on average  $9,410, which is minor compared to the $32,410 price tag of a four-year private school. However, it’s surprising to hear that financial costs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this new generation of young adults.

Jay Guevarra (‘16), a recent graduate of NMHS who currently attends The College of New Jersey and is majoring in Biology, states that “…the hardest challenge in college has been making good use of and managing my time.” When asked about the student debt crisis, which now totals over 1.3 trillion dollars, Jay’s opinion on the matter is “…we are encouraged to take loans, and with the price of college today and the lack of preparation from our parents, many students end up needing to take out loans…for some degrees and fields it simply is not possible to thrive when you do not go to a competitive school….” He adds that “…competitive schools usually end up being expensive…” When asked why he thinks students drop out so early on in their post-secondary careers, he points to a lack of motivation by saying “It is easy to lose motivation or to come into college without any motivation whatsoever when high schools hardly do enough to prepare you for college.” His last statement is particularly telling: high school students are not prepared enough to succeed at a high academic level once they graduate. But that’s not all: according to Brown University, there are multiple causes to why college students lose motivation in their studies, including “…physical illness, depression, and alcohol, pot, and other drug use are possibilities at the top of the list…” They also recommend that to combat these issues,  students should seek help from the available resources on campus.

It’s no surprise that college is difficult for young adults. The new environment they are exposed to is challenging for most, if not all. A simple way for students to stay motivated is to set personal goals for themselves to encourage growth. Also, getting involved in new opportunities could help students explore their interests beyond their major. Students need to understand the importance of personal responsibility and how to manage their time in order to avoid becoming another statistic.

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
The College Epidemic