Tags: Barack Obama | Vox | community college | graduate | students

Vox: Getting Kids to Graduate Community Colleges Is Dilemma

Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 01:53 PM

President Barack Obama’s plan to give free community college tuition for two years is unlikely to help the bottom line getting kids to actually graduate, according to Vox.

Obama said that he wanted to extend 12th grade to the 14th grade and make "two years of college as free and universal in America as high school is today," as long as students met academic standards.

But the plan immediately came under fire from conservatives who called it a "pipe dream" with no plans on how to fund it, while others like Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle said it "bows to elites."

However, Vox’s Libby Nelson says that supporters and opponents of the proposal are missing the real dilemma with Obama’s plan to give everyone a fair chance at a good education.

"Free community college wouldn't create an era of universal college enrollment because that era is already here," she wrote.

"So many high school graduates go on to college already that it's unclear how much free tuition would boost attendance rates … The big unknown is whether it can help more students graduate."

Nelson noted that 86 percent of students who graduated high school in 2004 had enrolled in some form of college within the next eight years, according to an analysis of a national study from the William T. Grant Foundation.

"The problem isn't college enrollment — it's college completion," says Nelson. "Only about 59 percent of students who started college full-time at a four-year college in 2006 graduated by 2012. "For students who go to community college, graduation rates are even lower."

She said that more than four out of every 10 students, 43 percent, who started community college in the fall of 2008 dropped out, while citing the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks graduation statistics.

"Another 18 percent were still enrolled six years later for a degree that should take two years. Fewer than half had earned any kind of degree at all."

Nelson said that most college dropouts are students with families in the middle class and below, while students from the wealthiest 25 percent of the nation are basically assured of throwing their graduation hat in the air.

"For everyone else, it's at best a coin flip," added Nelson.

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President Barack Obama's plan to give free community college tuition for two years is unlikely to help the bottom line - getting kids to actually graduate, according to Vox.
Vox, community college, graduate, students
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2015-53-04
Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 01:53 PM
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