What Percent of US Students Fail to Earn a Degree within 6 Years?

More than 40% of US students who begin attending a four-year college will fail to earn a degree six years, research shows. This is thought to be caused in part by financial standing, because more than 90% of college students from the top income bracket graduate, compared with just 15% of those in the bottom income bracket. About 60% of college students who are the first in their families to attend college do not graduate. This might be because low-income parents are less likely to have gone to college themselves and might not be able to offer first-hand knowledge or support.

More about college graduates:

  • The college dropout rate in the US, including two-year colleges, is more than 50%, making it the country with the second-highest college dropout rate, after Hungary.

  • Females have a higher rate of college graduation in the US at 59%, compared with 54% of males.

  • As of 2012, about half of US college graduates were working in jobs that did not require a college degree.
More Info: nces.ed.gov

Discussion Comments


As was stated in the article and by one of the other discussion leaders, the problem with colleges nowadays is that they're become way too expensive. Of course, one should be required to pay money for it, but before long, only rich people will be able to afford it.

For example, off the top of my head, I calculated the tuition fees at my college. The increase between my freshmen and senior year is absolutely tremendous.


In the first paragraph of the article, I like how it says that many college graduates fail to graduate because of financial standing. In fact, when I was at my college, I noticed this to be quite a trend too. Many people I knew would start their first year or so of college, and complete their sophomore year as well. However, soon they would transfer or drop out because it was becoming too expensive. Has anyone else had this experience?


The second bullet point brings up a very interesting point for me. Due to women having a higher college graduation rate, is this one of the main reasons why at most colleges, there are more girls than guys? Just for an example, but in my Residence Hall, there are three floors. The rooms for the girls are on two floors, while the guys only get one floor.

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