Improve Your Chances of Graduating College

The College Dropout? 

 How do we improve the chances of students succeeding in college?

How do we improve the chances of students succeeding in college?

We are not talking here about Kayne West’s Grammy winning album, but rather the factors that affect and lead up to a students’ decision to drop out of college. 

Why do students decide to leave college? Are they unhappy with the campus? Too far from home?  Too undecided about what field to study? 

Or is it a matter of expense; do the loan amounts just seem too daunting? 

All of these and other reasons may play a role in the decision to leave college. Knowing how to meet this challenges with proactive solutions will help to ensure that you are one of those students who does not decide to leave college before completion.

College is More Important Than Ever

In this day and age, it is very hard to mount a sustainable, financially safe career without a two or four-year college degree. Most businesses and other places of secure employment with benefits and room for growth are looking for bachelors or a master’s degree from employees.

Students who are overwhelmed by the prospect of debt should remember that college degree holders almost always out-earn non-degree holders. College should be considered an investment to be made wisely. If you do your research ahead of time your likelihood of having your degree pay off goes up dramatically.

Choose the Right Major

Many students drop out because they end up losing enthusiasm for their subject or study, or they couldn't even decide on a major to begin with.

First of all, know that most freshmen start college with an "Undecided Major" and you don't have to choose usually until your sophomore year.

That being said, it is usually a good idea to do some research ahead of time so you know what subjects interest you most.

Try taking Majors Matcher for a good start. Download the report of your personality and majors of interest and go over it with a parent, guidance counselor, academic advisor, or another trusted person.

Beat Homesickness

Some students are overwhelmed with homesickness when they arrive on campus to the point where they end up leaving to go back home. Before this type of drastic decision is made though, students should meet with an advisor to see if they can transfer their credits to a school closer to home.

You may also consider riding out your time until the end of the semester. Sometimes taking a few months to adjust changes perspective and students find they are able to cope after all.

Pay Attention to Your Credits

Every college has slightly different requirements, but at most schools, there are required courses that every student needs to take, as well as a minimum of credits in a specific subject to achieve a degree.

Some students are so overwhelmed and confused when they start choosing classes they earn a lot of credits they don't need wasting time and money. After a year or two, they don't have a clear path to graduation because they haven't been taking the credits they need.

The best way to remedy this is to meet with an advisor to review your transcript. In what field of study do you have the most credits? What course of study could be completed in the shortest duration of time at this point? What are the work options for a degree in that field? 

Many Americans today are quite successful at jobs which only relate minimally to their initial college degree. So, do not despair if you do not see a clear employment path in any one field; make the major work for you, in any number of ways.

Avoid the Path of Debt and No Degree 

Certainly, there have been many successful college dropouts, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to name a few. However, dropping out can be quite dangerous for the student who doesn't have a clear idea of what they should do next. Many of these students end up with thousands of dollars in debt and not many options for paying it off.

A college degree opens up worlds of doors. If you've started school and already have some debt, it is better to finish your degree. Some options to do so with less debt could be transferring to a cheaper school or deciding to earn a two-year degree instead of a four.  

Focus on excelling in your course of study and preparing for a career with the financial gains that will allow for you to pay back those loans. Remember, they are an investment in your future, first and foremost and you have to be confident enough in your success to invest in yourself.

Get yourself off to a good start by deciding on the right college and major for you the first time.