PERSPECTIVES: From The New York Times Opinion On Attacking The College Dropout Problem

The college dropout phenomenon exacts a terrible price on American society.
More than 25 percent of people in their 30s who have attended college at some point have no degree — neither a community-college degree nor a bachelor’s degree. They fare vastly worse in the job market than their counterparts who do graduate (despite all the overwrought commentary claiming that education is overrated).
A typical college graduate working full-time earns 54 percent more than a full-time worker who attended some college but has no degree. And that statistic understates the gap, because college graduates are also much more likely to have full-time jobs.
So how can the United States help more college students finish what they started?
That question is the subject of a two-part Fixes column, by Tina Rosenberg, that she has just finished. Her first installment looked at the importance of small infusions of cash to lower-income students. Her latest piece examines the upside of inflexibility:
“Colleges use different parts of the strategy and give it different names, although it often goes by ‘guided pathways,’” Rosenberg writes. “The underlying idea is to give students firm guidance in choosing the right courses, along with structured, clear course sequences that lead to graduation. Colleges also monitor students’ progress closely and intervene when they go off track.”
One of her shining examples is at the City University of New York, which I’ve previously praised as an engine of economic mobility. Rosenberg’s two pieces address a topic of real importance.

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