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The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Split Decision: Con – Societal pressures lead to dropouts


The idea that community colleges should be rewarded or punished for anything is outlandish. When talking about rewarding and punishing the dropout rate, it goes from outrageous to completely insane.

Local state and federal governments spent nearly $4 billion for new, full-time students who did not return for a second year of college in the last five years, according to a report from the American Institute for Research.

The report goes on to give the idea that community colleges should be rewarded financially for lowering the dropout rate.

Yes, the dropout rate is high. Cosumnes River College has a first-year dropout rate of 22 percent, according to

However, lowering the rate shouldn’t have anything to do with the finances the school receives.

Saying we should be rewarding the college for lowering the rate, and punishing them financially if it rises, is saying that it is the school’s

responsibility to keep students attending.

College is not mandatory, and the goals of colleges are to allow students access to higher learning if they choose to attend.

“By law, the California Community Colleges are required to admit any California resident who graduated from high school, and may admit those who have not graduated but are over 18 years of age and can benefit from the instruction offered,” according to the Postsecondary Education Committee.

Yes, most adults are to be accepted into community college, but it is by the adult’s choice to even attend. Therefore the logical assumption is that colleges are to be maintained the same no matter the amount of students.

The idea that college is a necessity right out of high school is what leads to so many dropouts. Giving the college incentives to lower the dropout rate isn’t what is going to keep people in college, the mindset of people entering college is what turns them off to attending.

As soon as you start school, you’re expected to go to college if you want to succeed. Your parents want better for you, and even commercials advertise people who are more successful because they went to college.

I took two years off after I graduated high school and it was the best decision I could have made. In high school, I felt as if I just had to get by since I didn’t want to be there. Taking time off, which people always tell you not to do, made me want to go back to school on my own. If I had continued school right after high school, I guarantee I would be one of those first-year dropouts.

If more students felt that they had their own choice in what to do with their lives, many would see that they do want an education.

Yes, $4 billion was lost over a few years, but the trend wouldn’t continue. If students don’t feel pressured they won’t feel the need to just give up.

People are naturally curious from a young age. College is a place for people to go and learn about what they want. If people were to decide to attend on their own, less students would drop out and the amount of money lost would significantly decrease.

There will always be some students who drop out, but it isn’t the college’s job to force people to stay in school. Money will always be lost and there will be those who decide a path other than higher education is best for them.

The thing is, people who typically enter college are still teenagers, even if they are legally adults. Teenagers rebel against what they feel they have to do, and college is shoved down our throats from a young age, making it feel like something we have to do. Give students time to grow and decide to go to college on their own.

Give students a choice. Taking the pressure off of going to college is the only way we’re going to lower the dropout rate.

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About the Contributor
Stephan Starnes, Former Staff
For seven semesters Stephan served on the staff of The Connection in various capacities, holding almost every title possible during that time. Everything from Editor in Chief to News Editor to Copyeditor and even Visual Editor were titles that were attached to his name at some point. As a veteran on the paper, Stephan shared his experience and skills with everyone that joined during his time there. Finishing his degrees in Journalism, Liberal Arts and Photography in spring 2014 he graduated from CRC and retired from the newspaper. Semesters on Staff: Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

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Split Decision: Con – Societal pressures lead to dropouts