The 5 ways colleges can reverse trend of students stopping out (University Business)

December 13, 2021

Senior administrators ranked persistence and retention as the No. 1 priority in supporting higher education students in a study conducted by American University and the Association of American Colleges and Universities this past spring.

They understand well the challenges facing those who attend their institutions, including the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact. But there are a number of other reasons why students are electing to walk away from their colleges, effectively leaving credits on the table and abandoning their dreams of completion.

The nonprofit University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and online education provider StraighterLine recently released a report that shows that students not only are disengaging because of financial reasons and family commitments, but some are stopping out because they are dissatisfied with higher education altogether. For Gen Z students who stop out, those numbers are high, at 43%.

“Given the pandemic and the evolution of a new economy, one that relies on automation and information, students will be more likely to disengage with higher education for a variety of reasons,” said Jim Fong, Chief Research Officer and Director of the Center for Research and Strategy at UPCEA. “Families are more financially fragile and students have greater challenges. If we don’t act or anticipate this, they’ll not only disengage, but they will become disenfranchised with higher education.”

Read the full article. 


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