The challenges in balancing between demands of schools and employment are forcing many adults to leave college without a degree, a new Lumina Foundation, Strada Education Network, and Gallup report has found.
Out of more than 340,000 adults interviewed for the survey, nearly 76 percent of respondents reported dropping out of college citing work-related issues.
Another 12 percent attributed dropping out of college to financial pressures and 11 percent to personal problems.
Adults who dropped out of college without a degree reported experiencing significantly lower quality career and academic advising compared to their peers who graduated.
“As policymakers, education and business leaders look to re-engage individuals who have not completed their degree, it’s important to remember that they didn’t have the support needed to manage school alongside the realities of life,” said David Clayton, Senior Vice President of Consumer Insights at Strada Education Network.
“In this new analysis, consumers are telling us that in order to make the investment of time and money needed to return to college, they need learning experiences that are flexible, affordable, and clearly linked to career outcomes.”
The report found the same reasons serving as the impediment for many adults to return to school. However, a vast majority remains interested and motivated to obtain additional education with people ages 25-34 most likely to say that.
“We know the barriers and balancing work, family, and education disproportionately affect people who are Black, Hispanic, and Native American,” said Courtney Brown, Lumina’s vice president of strategic impact.
“To bring back people who left college without degrees, policymakers, colleges, and universities must be more responsive to these individuals’ needs and circumstances,” Brown added.