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College dropouts deemed cause and effect of poor economy

By Jacqueline Duda Staff Reporter
On October 27, 2010

Students tend to spend months researching colleges and finding the one that they think will fit them perfectly. Days are often spent packing bags of clothes and new dorm room accessories. All this is in preparation to set off on the adventure of attending four years of college, often without a thought that for some young adults, graudation day may never come.According to an article from the Connecticut Post, the dropout rate of college students does not only affect the students and their families financially, but it has also put an increased burden on taxpayers. The article states that $1.5 billion in grants for students is set aside by the government, and $1.4 billion is set aside by the state. Some of the students receiving these grants never even proceed to their sophomore year. Sacred Heart University is no exception to having students drop out before completing their college education. "Every college has new students who simply made the wrong choice, and the college just didn't meet their expectations," said Michael Bozzone, assistant dean of arts and sciences. "For example, there are students who selected a small college, where once they began, found that they really wanted a larger one-and the same thing goes for the other way around."Student's reasons for leaving their college or university before completing their education may vary based on the student and the school. According to the Connnecticut Post, President Obama's administration is shifting gears on what is important when it comes to people attending college. Now the goal is to make college easier and more accessible for students. "In every college, Sacred Heart included, retention is a major concern, and there are any number of steps taken both to identify students who may not be staying and to intervene when appropriate to assist if students have problems," said Bozzone.In today's economy, one of the circumstances that can contribute to the dropout rate of students is finances."First, it's no surprise in this economy that finances play a major role in a family's decision about college. If a college is too expensive, then often a student will make a change to a less-expensive alternative," said Bozzone.College educations can cost thousands of dollars even with grants and scholarships."Many students may drop out of school because of the financial responsibility that comes along with college," said DeMunno. "Money can be a sensitive subject and the pressure to pay to go to a good school can become to much for students and their families."Sacred Heart has worked to make students feel as comfortable with their decision of coming to the school as it can. "Retention is an issue that is at the forefront of everyone's mind, and there is a great deal of programming done through Student Life, for example, to create a positive environment that will encourage students to view Sacred Heart as a play they care about and where they wish to remain," said Bozzone."For freshmen, our Academic Advisors are always attentive to retention, and there is even a committee, chaired by Denis Tiberio that meets regularly and focuses on retention," he said.Through programs and events around campus, the opportunity is offered to help students get more involved at school and may lead to them wanting to remain in college until the achievement of their degree."Sacred Heart offers a lot of different on-campus events during the week and the weekends," said sophomore Catherine Glass. "It helps to get students involved and feel comfortable. Also, the staff is great at working with students in both their academic issues and personal issues."

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