On average, only 58 percent of college students get their degree—and that even allows for extra time, in a six-year window. The graduation rate is below 40 percent for two-year community colleges and four-year for-profit schools.
Why don’t students finish college? The roadblocks are many and varied. It costs more the longer it takes to complete a degree. Some degrees cost more than a student’s expected income in their chosen field. Some students don’t fill out the complicated federal financial aid form, which then locks them out of funding opportunities such as scholarships, meaning they can’t keep up with tuition even if they work while attending classes. And there are expensive textbooks, credits that don’t transfer from one school to another, and food and housing that financial aid doesn’t cover.