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College dropout ,problems and solutions

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College Dropout, Problems, and Solutions
The college dropout problem in the U.S. has been defined with desolate statistics that cast the higher education system in a bad light. This dilemma is, even more, disturbing for community colleges as it goes against the fabric of a community that is all about looking out for each other and forming strong personal ties. More broadly, this challenge is a threat to the country’s intellectual prowess and competitiveness that may harbor hidden social upheavals such as economic inequality. The fact that the majority of students who enroll for college education do not complete their studies is a worrying concern for both the policy makers and families. For this reason, it is important to identify the problems and solutions to avert this crisis.
One of the reasons for increased college dropout cases has been linked to students’ financial constraints. This factor has to do with the fact that most students come from low-income backgrounds. Most colleges can cater for the students financial needs only to a certain percentage through scholarships, but even with these developments, most students from low-income backgrounds come up short in finances. Further, the use of credits cards has seen an increase among students to finance their additional college expenses. The reason students rely on credit cards is because they are easily accessible, most students lack financial literacy, increased school expenses, and more credit-card allurement.

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Even so, the repercussions of defaulting on the payments are adverse as students are taken on an emotionally rollercoaster when the credit card companies aggressively follow-up on their payments. This harsh treatment can massively distract students from their studies, who in most cases, are already struggling with other financial related issues in college (Johnson 209). The financial pressure leads many students to borrow more students’ loans to service the credit bills, take up odd jobs to earn more money, or suffer in depression. These consequences create a little time for their studies, and most students are forced to drop out of college.
Another reason for high rates of college dropout is the challenge of balancing studies and work. Most college students in this situation do not work because of the desire to increase their practical skills or knowledge, but out of the need to support or cover their expenses. This implies that the work substitutes their education, and this factor leads to serious consequences such as reduced time and commitment to their studies. The hours spent on work deny students enough time for private studies, class schedules, assignments, class choice, and utilizing the school facilities such as libraries. The stress levels for most students associated with this lifestyle is too high and force them to defer or ultimately leave their education before completion.
In most cases, juggling work and the school have been found to be more challenging than finding or paying tuition bills (Johnson 6). This aspect implies that the focus of such students is redirected to work more than their studies, a situation that dwindles the hope for a successful college education and lead to high dropout cases. Over the years, the narrative of the college education has changed with the current situation having students to allocate more time for work to cover bills, such as rent. This increasing financial burden to make ends meet is a sharp contrast to the lifestyle most college students on fully paid full-time programs. The students who work and study are immersed in a test of perseverance and maturity that pits them against students from high-income backgrounds whose bills and financial obligations are covered (Johnson 6).
Family problems are also highly linked to college dropout cases as issues such as divorce, separation, parent neglect and other social upheavals affect most students. Recent studies have revealed a strong link between divorce and development of the affected college students in areas such as graduation rates, career choice and self-esteem (Wallerstein and Julia 362). This reality is worsened if the divorce occurred during their childhood as it can affect their self-esteem and interpersonal skills throughout their college and adult life. This overwhelming psychological effect leads to college dropout cases because of reduced class participation and indifferent attitude towards education (Wallerstein and Julia 362).
Even worse, students from divorced families who remain at college struggle with other issues such as relationship challenges with friends and partners as they have learned from their parents to deal emotionally with any conflict. Another family issue that traces its foundation in a child’s formative years and if not addressed may recur in a college student’s life is the parental concern for the well-being and education of their children. Parents who are actively involved in their children’s education increased their potential in achieving higher education achievement and graduation rates compared to neglected children or those living with their relatives. This aspect was also experienced in students whose parents exhibited greater parental love as such students developed high self-esteem, discipline and were never derailed by peer pressure. Further, adolescent children whose fathers discussed important decisions with them exhibited lower levels of antisocial behaviors such as breaking the law, engaging in substance abuse, or even getting pregnant in the case of girls (The Heritage Foundation 1). In other cases, parental concern involved the parents taking part in their children’s school activities and general meetings. Even if the parents were separated, the biological parents’ involvement in their children’s education resulted more in their academic achievement, than if this responsibility was left for the stepparents (Nord, Christine, and Jerry 6). The social environment children grow up in such as dysfunctional families have a huge effect on their well-being.
Individuals that grew in an environment or families that exposed them to aspects of crime, for instance, can make them adopt these characteristics out of socialization, rather than choice (Moore 50). For this purpose, changing such dynamics of the family is important in children’s psychological development and reducing college dropout rates. As with any social or academic challenge, there is a need for concerted efforts from various stakeholders in addressing the high rates of the college dropout. More importantly, the social fabric of communities must prevail and be adopted by the school system. A community is based on a common feeling, a sense of responsibility for everyone and strong personal ties.
The school system needs to epitomize these characteristics for increased graduation rates, academic achievement and higher self-esteem among students (Stolp 11). Initiatives such as The Geoffrey Community Centre by Harlem Children’s Zone have helped in reducing college dropouts. This initiative brings together teachers, parents, students, and the whole community to take part in events that build social harmony. The Harlem Children’s Zone has seen great success for students attending college because of the close interaction between the students. College advisors prepare the children for the college life and offer them guidance, such as in choosing a career. Further, Harlem Children’s Zone fulfills the students’ credit requirements, coordinate their internships during summer breaks to gain practical experience at work, build professional networks, and earn income to certain their college expenses (Harlem Children’s Zone 1).
These efforts go a long way in solving the financial, family, and student work related challenges that catalyze college dropout. Another solution that concern family challenges involves the availability of student affairs professionals in college who should identify, counsel, and mentor students from divorced or dysfunctional families. This initiative helps students identify disruptive family patterns that are linked to patterns of their interactions with peers and learn to adopt preventive measures that are conscientious and less reactive. Cost effective programs and an adjustment to existing policies can also help students avoid the juggle between work and school (Johnson 4). Implementing evidence-based practices (EBP) from scientific studies regarding causes of dropout in colleges or strategies to improve academic achievement and self-esteem among students is paramount among policy makers in higher education.
It should be apparent that college dropout is an eminent crisis in the higher education system that goes against the U.S. social fabric. Some of the reasons for this dilemma include students’ financial constraints, difficulty in juggling work and school, and family related issues. Financial constraint among most college students involves the difficulty in covering their tuition fees while the reason most students juggle work and school is to make their ends meet. On the other hand, family challenges may arise from the students’ difficult childhood that persists throughout their college life.
Even so, solutions such as developing community initiatives that cover both the financial and social challenges go a long way to avert this crisis. Other solutions include implementation of EBPs by policy makers in higher education and assigning students with professionals to mentor and counsel them. Admittedly, these solutions can provide a new lease of life for both students and policy makers now, and in the future.

Works Cited
The Heritage Foundation. “Parental Involvement and Children’s Well-Being.” familyfacts.org. The Heritage Foundation, 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. <http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/40/parental-involvement-and-childrens-well-being>.
Harlem Children’s Zone. ”The College Success Office”. Harlem Children’s Zone, 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015. <http://hcz.org/our-programs/the-college-success-office/>.
Johnson, Creola. “Maxed Out College Students: A Call to Limit Credit Card Solicitations on College Campuses.” NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. 8.3 (2005): 191–277.
Johnson, Jean. With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them: Myths and Realities About Why so Many Students Fail to Finish College. New York, NY: Public Agenda, 2009. Print.
Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. New York, NY: Spiegel & Grau, 2011. Print.
Nord, Christine W, and Jerry West. Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 2001. Print.
Stolp, Stephen. Every School a Community: The Academic Value of Strong Social Bonds Among Staff and Students. Eugene, OR: Oregon School Study Council, 1995. Print.
Wallerstein, Judith S, and Julia, Lewis. The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: Report of a 25-Year Study.” Psychoanalytic Psychology 21.3 (2004): 353-370. Print.

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