Over 1,000,000 students drop out of college each year. The impact of this on students is well documented: students who drop out rack up crippling debt without the benefits that come from the earning premium of having a degree. There is also an impact on institutions. According to a recent study, higher education institutions “collectively lost revenue due to attrition in an amount close to $16.5 billion in a single academic year.” Still, focusing on these forgotten students hasn’t made much sense from a cost perspective to universities, compared to recruiting new students or retaining students who are already enrolled. But the collective cost of ignoring college dropouts is significant, and it seems like this dynamic may change in the years ahead. For more information, see editor Michael Horn’s full post on the EdNext blog. You can also learn more about how community colleges might better serve underserved students or read about two different views on college affordability.

—Education Next

Last updated April 24, 2018