Why College Students Stop Short of a Degree

Courtney Williams's picture
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Saddled with $50,000 in student loans, she decided that spending more time in class would derail her from pursuing opportunities in the job market.

Eordogh, now 26, has worked full-time since June as an online reporter at the Daily Dot, a digital publication covering Internet culture, and is chipping away at her financial obligations even as many of her former classmates have gone on to graduate school.

"I've never had a job in journalism that required me to show my diploma," says Eordogh, who has written for outlets ranging from AOL.com to True/Slant (now part of Forbes.com).

She is hardly unique.

There are some high-profile cases of dropouts-made-good like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, but the majority are not so fortunate. The United States has the highest dropout rate in the industrialized world, according to a Harvard analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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