Billions Spent in U.S. on Community College Students Who Drop Out

Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2011

California and other states are spending billions of tax dollars on community college students who drop out before completing their studies, according to a report released Thursday.

The report by the nonprofit American Institutes for Research found that from 2004 to 2009, federal, state and local governments spent nearly $4 billion on full-time community college students who dropped out after their first year.

In California, expenditures on such students over the five-year period totaled $480 million, far more than any other state.

The report highlights a nationwide trend of increasing community college enrollment and spending but declining completion rates at the same time that state funding for higher education has dropped.

{snip}

The report found that about a fifth of full-time U.S. community college students in the period studied did not return for their second year. In 2009, the most recent year for which data were available, about $1 billion was spent on students who dropped out, up 35% from 2004.

{snip}

The report did not study the reasons for the low rate of success but noted that many students are ill-prepared for college, receive too few support services and are not helped by remediation.

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    In the USA, as everywhere, there is great Diversity in intellectual and academic ability. A great many people simply do not possess the qualities to succeed at college. Such individuals, and our society, would be better served if they were provided practical job training.

    Leftists have this utopian idea that there is no Diversity among people, and that everyone has identical abilities. This ignorant, unrealistic idology results in untold suffering and expense, as we try to fit square and triangular pegs into round holes — i.e., insist that everyone go to college. But some people are better suited to mow lawns and others to study nuclear physics.

    We need to admit that there is Diversity, and Celebrate such Diversity. Different people have different traits, and some, perhaps most, individuals are unqaualified for college.

  • Zach Sowers

    It looks like they might need to throw a few more billions at this boondoggle. Maybe even trillions. I’m sure that would remedy it.

  • The Federal Farmer

    “The report did not study the reasons for the low rate of success but noted that many students are ill-prepared for college, receive too few support services and are not helped by remediation.”

    …and are generally not intelligent enough for higher education, have no self-discipline, lack insight, have zero work ethic, lie like its a job, and tend to watch endless hours of “America gots pimps” and “Dancing wit dem starz,” when they aren’t listening to noise on the radio.

  • John Engelman

    Those who try to learn from community colleges and drop out will learn more than if they had not tried.

  • Detroit WASP

    Neither my mother or father had a high school diploma. My dad went to the 6th grade in a one room school house in Kentucky. The only book we had in our house was the TV guide…lol.

    I never even thought about going to college until I was a senior in high school. I was totally unprepared. When I was 20ish I started at a community college and dropped a lot of classes and wasted a lot of my own money. I eventually got on track and got some financial aid. I received a degree and graduated cum laude. I then went to a four year school and graduated cum laude.

    I also earned an MA in education but no longer teach. About 25% of Americans have a four year degree, about 8.9 have a masters. I think 2% have a PhD.

    Community colleges play an important role but I do believe that the financial aid program is abused. Kids use college as an excuse to not get a job or join the service. They just want to delay growing up.

    The way to save money on educating low IQ people is to prevent the low IQ people from ever being born in the first place. Right now we promote the breeding of the lowest IQ people with welfare programs to people who will almost certainly have a litter of kids who will be a burden to society. Our social programs need a drastic change.

    Typical welfare mother.

    http://goo.gl/eZw34

  • Anonymous

    When I was going to the community college where I live, I made it a point to stay focused and to take only the classes that I needed to transfer to the Cal State system. However, about 60-70% of my classmates did not share the same mindset. Most would take classes like “History of Rock n’Roll” or some such class because they wanted the status of “being in college” but didn’t take the process of education very seriously. Plus, they liked all of that government money coming there way because it allowed them to buy whatever they wanted whether it was a nice used car, jewelry or clothes. There needs to be some type of reform within the community college system to curb this abuse and to open the community colleges up to people who are serious about their education.

  • rjf101

    Recently, my high school had a PSAT day for all freshman, sophomores, and juniors (the PSAT is basically a free SAT that is provided to all students to determine how much they have to study before taking the real SAT). The seniors don’t take the PSAT, so we were supposed to meet in the auditorium for the first three hours of school while the younger students were testing. Now of course, myself and nearly all the other seniors skipped that day, but would you believe what the seniors who DID show up did for three hours? They were all required to fill out applications to CTC, our local community college. Now, God knows most of those kids don’t deserve to go to college, and most of them probably don’t want to. But there is such a great push to send all teenagers off to college these days, regardless of their abilities or desires.

  • Flaxen-headed Strumpet

    “Those who try to learn from community colleges and drop out will learn more than if they had not tried.”— #4 John Engelman

    You are 100% correct but you omit “the rest of the story”, that being that these ghetto people attending Community College as a condition of probation and/or welfare learn more anger towards white society as they finally are able to dully but surely perceive that they simply don’t have what it takes. I see this daily as an instructor in “the system”.

  • Anonymous

    30 yrs ago in San Jose, California, I was at an “auto-swap” trying to sell a vintage 1949 Pontiac. Three low-rider Mexicans “Cholos” strolled up. They had heavy Mexican accents and one guy without a shirt had a tattoo of a foxy Mexican woman covering his entire back and one of a Mexican flag on his chest. They wanted to buy my car, but said that they wouldn’t get paid until Wed. We agreed to meet Wed evening. That Wed I was walking across campus at San Jose City College when I heard my name called. I turned and there were the 3 guys standing in line for the Financial Aid Office. They were students and Wed was the day they received their taxpayer-funded Minority-student financial aid to attend college. Their “payday” was actually the day they received their financial aid. Ha, ha!

    All 3 cashed their aid checks and gave me the money that evening. They soon dropped out of college, but for years I could see that “pimped-out low-rider 49 Pontiac cruising up and down the drag in San Jose, each time with a different owner, all Mexican. They may not have gotten an education, but they did get to drive around in a ”beetcheen cherry ride, loco.”

    Read Tortilla Flat by Steinbeck; it explains it all.

  • Sureesh

    The CA college system has few, if any whites remaining. All the ‘hard sciences’ have been taken over by smart Asians. I’m moving back to India but the Chinese are gonna run CA in about 20 years and they surely will NOT fund tax-supported Black and Hispanic AA programs. They will keep the Hispanics who are willing to work in low paying menial jobs but they will send the Blacks to the East Coast because too few of them are willing to be good low wage workers. The exceptional Blacks who are higher IQ and hard working will still face enormous prejudice from the Chinese so they will leave as well for the cities in the midwest. Let me tell you, CA will be Chinafornia by 2040.

  • C Dix

    “You are 100% correct but you omit “the rest of the story”, that being that these ghetto people attending Community College as a condition of probation and/or welfare learn more anger towards white society as they finally are able to dully but surely perceive that they simply don’t have what it takes. I see this daily as an instructor in the system”

    You ain’t whistlin Dixie there pardner.

    I’ve spent time both working and attending 4 colleges and Universities and it has pretty much been the same experience everywhere. Midterms and cold weather weeds them out (particularly black males) at much higher rates that other students. His theory would also be correct if not for the fact that you usually need to attend lecture and complete coursework on a regular basis in order to get anything in return.

  • Xenos

    I fondly remember the two golden years that I spent at a suburban, but majority hispanic, Southern California Community College. Although I went on to graduate from UCLA with a degree in engineering, those first two years of higher education gave me my start, and in more ways than one. One semester, in need of some elective credits, I wandered into a class on ancient Greek philosophy. The philosophy professor, an eccentric old guy right out of central casting, taught us about the connections of the ancient Greek philosophers to the bronze-age Aryans, and the origins of Indo-European civilizations. In a discussion with him after class one day, he recommended that I seek out a recently published book which was, he said, “the most intelligent analysis of the inateness of racial differences ever published”, or some words to that effect. That book was Michael Levin’s, “Why Race Matters”, and ever since reading it, I have been a unapologetic white nationalist. By contrast, the sweet spirit of free inquiry that I had experienced in the old prof’s classes was entirely absent from the upper-division political philosophy and ethics courses that I took at UCLA. They were really more equal-rights propaganda than philosophy. Thank God for that old community college philosophy prof! Last I heard, he was still teaching. I don’t know how he can get away with it in today’s repressive and anti-white academic environment.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Recently, my high school had a PSAT day for all freshman, sophomores, and juniors (the PSAT is basically a free SAT that is provided to all students to determine how much they have to study before taking the real SAT).

    –rjf101

    The PSAT is NOT free!!

    From the College Board site:

    The fee for the 2011 PSAT/NMSQT is $14. (Note: Schools sometimes charge an additional fee to cover administrative costs.) The College Board makes fee waivers available to schools for students in eleventh grade from low-income families who can’t afford the test fee. See your counselor for more information about fee waivers.

    It may have looked free to you because your school district decided to use scarce educational funds to BUY the PSAT from the CB for ALL of its 10th graders, as does my district, the LAUSD. By ALL 10th graders, I mean EXACTLY that — from the majority of semi-literate 10th graders all the way down to retarded special Ed students along with huge numbers of students in ESL classes who don’t speak English and have to have the directions TRANSLATED for them (I’m not making this up).

    This utter waste of money infuriates me more each year…

    Free = paid for by the state taxpayers of YOUR state.

    Bon

  • Anonymous

    It is interesting whether detailed “statecraft” might structure laws and regulations in terms of punishment/reward to help correct some of this. Reportedly, Community Colleges “feed rope” to failing students for a long after it is evident they “can’t swim” academically. Of course, the academic standards in some of these two year colleges are abysmal. In these days of micro miniature cameras and recorders, enough actual “footage” of some of the classroom content in some of these colleges can help delineate what failure really implies.

  • Riverhound

    These $ numbers are just a drop in the overall waste bucket. Add to it all the 4 year state universities where average tuition is about $5,000 per semester (twice a year) and a majority of the private schools where semester tuition rates far exceed $10,000 a semester. These universities bend over backward to get minority freshman in their ranks, and will do whatever it takes. And why not? The state and federal gov’t are picking up the tab in the form of academic grants to these people. Doesn’t matter that more than 50% won’t be there next year. And of the ones that do, half of those won’t return the following year. From the college’s perspective… why not? Heck, the high schools are filled every year with graduating classes of minorities with 6th grade reading levels to take their place. All of you low middle income parents with college age kids want to know the real reason you don’t get any tuition assistance, even tho you’re just scraping buy yourselves? There is PLENTY of tuition assistance to offer. It’s just being offered to the wrong students. Undeserving students who shouldn’t be in college in the first place. Every year, a Billions $ are wasted, year in and year out, while you and your kids pony up the tab. It’s a revolving door of freshman and sophomore classes where huge sums of tax payer money is coming in. And what does the school do with it all? Good question. Teachers for remedial and 100 level classes are almost always the younger part time, non-tenured type. A dime a dozen. It’s a money making scheme using tax $, while families making a mere $50K, are told there’s nothing available for help. Go borrow your own. I put 2 kids through Pennsylvania’s state college programs over the last 7 years. I’ve seen it first hand and it’s an ugly sight to behold.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone should have a Ph.D. in quantum physics. It’s only right!

  • Anonymous

    “You are 100% correct but you omit “the rest of the story”, that being that these ghetto people attending Community College as a condition of probation and/or welfare learn more anger towards white society as they finally are able to dully but surely perceive that they simply don’t have what it takes. ”

    Flaxen headed strumpet is right. When I was a Probation Officer the defense attorneys all wanted probation instead of state prison for those convicted of crime.

    There were then and still are numerous federal funded organizations that do nothing but mooch around the criminal court system looking for clients to justify their fundings.

    These radical do gooders always got the criminals set up for community college, had them visit some of their kids they had seen only twice in 5 years and presented CC as an alternative to my sentencing recomendation that they go for a year in county jail or more in state prison.

    I always took the precaution of having them tested for IQ, literacy and numeracy. We had federally funded programs for that too.

    So the marxist Ivy leaguer putting in a few years between college and law school would get up and go into their spiel about community college.

    Then I would ask the Judge to look at the test report that showed an IQ of 75 and 2nd grade reading and below 1st grade math.

    Off to prison they would go.

    The community colleges are filled with people who can’t get jobs and need that $5,000 pell grant and the student loans to live on.

    All the low level jobs that these students would have had 40 years ago are now filled by illegal aliens.

    Every fast food and restaurant kitchen is filled with illegals.

    Americans go to college as a welfare supplement or substitute.

    Immigrants can renew their green cards as long as they take 12 units per quarter. So they go from college to college taking the same courses over and over. They can stay here for 10 years just by taking community college courses. At least they pay the small tuition themselves and don’t get the Pell grants.

    Spouses and children of these green card students also get to stay in this country. So the wife goes to CC while the husband runs his crooked, tax evading but very profitable business.

    CC green card qualification is one of the ways the White and asian immigrants can come over here on a 6 month tourist visa and still be here 15 years later.

  • Auntie Em

    A few years ago the university in my town began accepting inner city youth who had failed to complete high school under a new program. They were apparently given the funds that they needed to begin the Fall semester and then showed up in arrears. Surprise!

    There were some adjustments made to the program. What happened following that is beyond my ken as the program, if it still exists, seems to be flying under the media radar.

    I won’t comment on the increase in rape and theft in the university area that fall. Or since then. Very little of it seems to be in the news but with a police scanner in the house we do get the information. This Spring we had our first local co-ed murdered by her black boyfriend.

    I still wonder about the Ora Lee Brown scholarships. She was a teacher who saved to send her entire first grade class to college. Sometimes you hear ads on the radio lauding her program and requesting donations.

    Try as I might I am unable to access information regarding how many of her students were able to benefit from her extraordinary generosity.

    I definitely want to see hard facts as to whether these programs are effective.

  • Anonymous

    10 — Sureesh wrote at 2:59 AM on October 21:

    “The CA college system has few, if any whites remaining. All the ‘hard sciences’ have been taken over by smart Asians. I’m moving back to India but the Chinese are gonna run CA in about 20 years and they surely will NOT fund tax-supported Black and Hispanic AA programs. They will keep the Hispanics who are willing to work in low paying menial jobs but they will send the Blacks to the East Coast because too few of them are willing to be good low wage workers. The exceptional Blacks who are higher IQ and hard working will still face enormous prejudice from the Chinese so they will leave as well for the cities in the midwest. Let me tell you, CA will be Chinafornia by 2040.”

    Sureesh, all these years in California and you have never heard of voting. The hispanic and White liberals rule. Votes still matter. More than votes, judicial deciisons rule America.

    Remember, judges and affirmative action drove Whites out of Ca colleges. if you think the hispanics and White liberals will let intelligent Chinese take over and rule Ca you are mistaken.

    Hispanics will rule and it will be worse than Mexico. Mexicans have no love for Chinese and Indians no matter how much they need computer programmers.

    Asians are almost the majority in San Francisco. Yet San Francisco is the direct opposite of any logical asian run city.

    San Francisco is far more lunatic fringe insane that it was back in 1970 when Whites were the majority and asians a minority.

    The Whites left. The asians moved in. But the asians in San Francisco that they are far less able to deal with criminal blacks and radical lunatics than the Whites they replaced.

    Hispanics don’t like asians. They will not deal with them gently.

  • Done with it

    11 — C Dix wrote at 3:09 AM on October 21:

    “You are 100% correct but you omit “the rest of the story”, that being that these ghetto people attending Community College as a condition of probation and/or welfare learn more anger towards white society as they finally are able to dully but surely perceive that they simply don’t have what it takes. I see this daily as an instructor in the system”

    You ain’t whistlin Dixie there pardner.

    Add me as yet another first-hand witness to this “educate the minorities” nonsense.

    I too, worked at a CC for years, and it is exactly as you state. Blacks know how to work the system like clockwork. The US Dept of Education gives a wink and a nod to these “underserved populations” by providing up to 7 years worth of financial aid to these “students” with no requirement the individuals actually progress towards a degree and graduate. I also believe they are coached by the complicit financial aid departments, which are overrun with minority employees who tell them just how long they must attend to “earn” the financial aid check. Aptitude and retention are not a concern; they can work the system by attempting as many certificates or degrees as they please, and even get paid to repeat classes they failed in prior semesters.

    One could always tell when “da cheks” were ready for disbursement, as the school parking lot would be full of blinged out Expeditions or other large SUV’s, complete with $3000 rims. And to add insult to injury, your fully deserving white children would be denied any aid to obtain an education, since their parents worked and earned too much at their low paying but honest occupations.

  • Bardon

    I couldn’t resist..

    # 17

    When I was a Probation Officer the defense attorneys all wanted probation instead of state prison for those convicted of crime.

    There were then and still are numerous federal funded organizations that do nothing but mooch around the criminal court system looking for clients to justify their fundings.

    These radical do gooders always got the criminals set up for community college, had them visit some of their kids they had seen only twice in 5 years and presented CC as an alternative to my sentencing recomendation that they go for a year in county jail or more in state prison.

    I always took the precaution of having them tested for IQ, literacy and numeracy. We had federally funded programs for that too.

    So the marxist Ivy leaguer putting in a few years between college and law school would get up and go into their spiel about community college.

    [B]Then I would ask the Judge to look at the test report that showed an IQ of 75 and 2nd grade reading and below 1st grade math.

    Off to prison they would go[/B].

    Hhehehh……

  • Anonymous

    Millions of taxpayer dollars are being invested in students who only last one year of school and then drop out, and colleges must do a better job of retaining students and helping them earn degrees or certificates, the report said.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/2-year-colleges-lose-millions-to-dropouts-1277628.html