Oftentimes, high school athletes are totally focused on the coach and college program at the schools they’re interested in during the recruiting process. It’s important to remember there are other factors that can influence whether a student manages to earn his or her college degree. And the schools that go the extra mile in each of those categories have noticeably lower dropout rates. So, to help you with your college choice, here are the Five Factors that Can Curb College Dropouts.
In 2019, a New York Times study noted that one in three college students drop out before earning their degree. However, the study also noted marked differences in dropout rates between schools with comparable student bodies. In fact, as the Times study discovered, all colleges are not created equal.
Degree Road Maps
The Times report found that colleges with higher graduation rates were also the schools that provided an academic pathway toward graduation. To do that, those schools may pre-assign a major based on the interests listed on incoming student applications. While students can always change their minds, and their major, providing students with a map toward graduation, regardless of which route they ultimately choose to get there, created higher graduation rates and more successful schools.
By contrast, higher dropout rates were found at schools that provided little or no academic guidance and allowed “undeclared” majors. Students at those schools, it seems, are more likely to sign up for classes with no direction in mind. While that may help foster discovery, it also appears that it doesn’t promote staying in school on a path toward graduation.
On-Campus Versus Off-Campus Housing
We get it. College is your first chance to be on your own and to live by your own rules. But, the Times analysis also showed that colleges with a majority of students living on campus produced higher graduation rates. The reason is, when you live on campus, you’re living in the campus community. That community means closer access to friends, faculty, and helpful resources. Plus, you’re living with peers who might share the same interests and be dealing with the same issues. In other words, on-campus housing gives you a built-in network to rely on and connect with.
Spending Per Student
Just as schools that spend money on student housing show higher graduation rates, colleges that invest more in their student body also see more students earning degrees. These investments can be adding student assistance resources, improving quality of life on campus, or simply expanding programs and class offerings. Whatever form it takes, schools (and states) that offer more to their student body than just classes build better connections that keep students in school and on course toward graduation.
Introduction To College Life 101
For every incoming freshman, the leap from high school to college is a big one. As a student-athlete, you’ll have help with that transition on the field. But, when it comes to the rest of the transition to college, you’ve got to adjust to a new life just like every other freshman. To help with that transition, many colleges make orientation classes mandatory and offer more support, tutoring, and student assistance. And it’s those colleges that were found to have higher graduation rates, according to the Times.
While your main focus might be an athletic scholarship and on-field performance, the colleges that offer more scholarships and financial aid money see better academic performance too. While it can be considered another form of investing in students, the Times study reiterated that schools providing more financial assistance for tuition and living expenses also had higher graduation rates.
Add it all up and statistics matter, on the field and on campus. And, while you’ll hear a lot about colleges and universities during the recruiting process, make sure the school you choose puts the investment in to keep students in school and on track for the primary goal; a college degree.
In addition to ‘The Five Factors That Can Curb College Dropouts’, visit HERE for more great information about college sports recruiting like recruiting guides and helpful articles.