WASHINGTON, D.C. — Student retention is critical to postsecondary schools’ ability to educate students and remain financially viable. It was a crucial issue before the coronavirus pandemic, and it became even more so in the fall of 2020, given declining enrollment rates at many colleges nationally. Understanding why students drop out is a key to identifying the policies and programming that will help students persist and complete their degrees.
A recent study conducted by Lumina Foundation and Gallup explored the barriers to completion for U.S. adults who obtained some college education but did not complete their degrees. These adults cited the cost (25%), emotional stress (18%) and balancing family responsibilities (13%) as their top reasons for not completing their degree.