Why students drop out of college & what can be done to help them graduate

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In a speech at the University of Texas in August of 2010, President Barack Obama tied college graduation rates to the economy. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Hour 1

Until a decade ago, the U.S. led the world in college graduation rates. Now we rank 12th globally in the number of young adults who hold a minimum of an associate’s degree, and while almost 70 percent of high school students enroll in a higher education institution, only 57 percent graduate.  The numbers are worse for minorities and low-income students.  In Philadelphia, for example, less than half of students will earn a college degree. The challenges some college student face are daunting and include the high cost of tuition and loans, long hours working off campus, and a lack of academic preparedness.  President Obama has established the goal of raising the nation’s college graduation rate to 60 percent in 10 years, so in this hour of Radio Times, we’ll talk about why students drop out of college and how families, students and the government can help them stay in school.  Our guest are HADASS SHEFFER of Graduate! Philadelphia and LAURA PERNA, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

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[audio: 051512_100630.mp3]

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