A new study from the National Student Research Clearinghouse has found that the average first-year college students are not on track to graduate within five years. The study tracked the progress of a nationally representative sample of first-year college students and found that 51% of full-time students earned 24 credits or more compared to 28% that earned 30 or more credits.
The report also notes on average; students earn 9 credit hours for every 12 credits they attempt to earn, despite financial aid support and assistance over the last few years.
The findings highlight that African American students typically earn 3 credits less than their White peers, even more so when they come from low-income backgrounds.
While the five-year graduation rate may seem like a high bar, it is essential to remember that students who take longer to graduate often shoulder a larger debt burden. For many students, graduating on time is vital to avoid financial hardship.
This report showcases that despite the best efforts of many colleges around the country, first-time, full-time college students struggle to meet their deadlines.
Many issues the school system faces can’t be solved all at once, but we know the main problem lies with the global pandemic. Learning loss is a big issue across the country, and it starts at an early age; even missing a few months can be detrimental and affect students for many years.
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Student Hires is committed to providing high-quality, hands-on experiential learning programs that increase the career readiness of disadvantaged youth in our community. Our programs are led by college students passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people.
We believe that every young person deserves the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s workforce. By providing access to these programs, we are helping to level the playing field and giving our youth the chance to reach their full potential.
Our programs are interactive and engaging, and they allow participants to explore different careers and learn about what it takes to be successful in each one. We are proud to offer these programs to the youth of our community, and we are confident that they will positively impact their future.
While the findings of this report are certainly concerning, they also provide an opportunity for colleges and universities to take a closer look at their first-year students’ progress and identify potential areas where students need assistance.
It is important to note that these results should not be used to label or stigmatize any group of students. Instead, they should serve as a call to action for higher education institutions to focus on supporting all first-year students in their efforts to graduate on time. What could colleges and universities do better to help first-year students?