NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED507432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them: Myths and Realities about Why So Many Students Fail to Finish College
Johnson, Jean; Rochkind, Jon
Public Agenda
"With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them" asks young Americans why so many college students drop out. This study is designed to test the assumptions many individuals make about college students today and why so many of them fail to graduate. It also helps to identify solutions that young people themselves say would help most. With underwriting from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Public Agenda surveyed more than 600 young adults, ages 22 to 30, who had at least some higher education coursework. The authors asked those who started college, but did not complete a degree, why they left, and they compared their views, experiences and responses with those of students who had successfully completed a two- or four-year college program. The findings reveal gaps in the higher education system that serve to undercut the efforts of students who need to work and go to school at the same time. They raise serious questions about long-standing policies that seem profoundly ill suited to students who simply cannot afford to go to school full-time for several years. They powerfully suggest the need for innovative responses that would help more young Americans continue their education, but in better-organized and more cost-effective programs. The results of this research pose a challenge. (Contains 13 footnotes.) [This report was written with Amber N. Ott and Samantha DuPont.]
Public Agenda. 6 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016. Tel: 212-686-6610; Fax: 212-889-3461; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Public Agenda
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A