The Causes and Effect of the Decrease in Student University Retention Rates

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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As students retention rates plummet at universities nationwide, educators have compiled a list of factors that may cause students to abandon their pursuit of a college degree. These include inadequate college preparation, financial difficulties, medical problems, and personal interruptions. College or university education has become a significant aspect of a students life in this day and age. Many find pride in joining a good college, finishing their studies, and eventually becoming employable and influential members of the society. It is, however, alarming to note that many students are dropping out of their university education around the nation and the rates are at an all-time high.

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It is the reason why educators have looked into the issue and discovered various issues that lead to the significant decrease in retention rates among universities around the country. One of them is the insufficient preparation for college for both students and parents. It may be financial, mental or physical. In todays society, young people would prefer a different venture, which they feel will bring quick cash than spending up to four years in school. Therefore, as the student gets into school, they are not entirely prepared for their encounter. It will lead to difficulty in adjusting to the new school environment or even getting their assignments and studies done on time. Such issues will affect the overall view of the student towards the university, and he or she will feel like it is a burden and thus give up along the way.

Financial difficulty is also another reason for the decrease in retention rates among universities. A student will be excited to join college, and in preparation, parents may be able to raise school fees and upkeep for the first semester of school. Eventually parents especially those from poor backgrounds will find it hard to raise fees for subsequent semesters. It will also mean that the student may not get any money for upkeep, which is usually an important aspect of university education for the student. Eventually, it will be hard to go back to school without fees or even money for upkeep, which will lead to those affected dropping out of school.

Medical problems also form another reason for the decrease in retention rates among universities. It is an issue that is considered unavoidable because one may not be prepared enough to face an illness or deal with one they have lived with all their life. In many instances, medical problems may keep students out of class for long hours, which means that the student misses much of what the lecturers teach while they are recuperating. Other critical conditions will keep students in hospitals for months or even years. In such instances, students and parents will opt for putting their education on hold until the student fully recovers.

Personal issues also contribute to the decrease in retention rates. University is often a place where students get the opportunity to exercise a level of freedom they never had before. They were previously under the watch of their parents but here comes a time when they are alone in school. They can engage in whatever they what at whichever time they choose. The level of freedom may drive some students from a focus of a college degree to concentrating on personal issues like partying, going out all the time or visiting friends at the expense of their education. It is a type of life that will get to the student in such a way that he or she sees no need of furthering his or her studies.

The decrease in retention rates remains to be a sensitive issue in the education sector, and the effects are visible. There is a significant decline in the graduation rates in many of these universities. It, therefore, means that the number of employable youths going out into the job market will reduce significantly. Students acquire many valuable life skills through their university education. Therefore, a decrease in retention rates will produce a generation that lacks the ability to deal with various issues that one will encounter throughout his or her life. These and much more bring the need to address the decrease in university retention rates.

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