The University of North Georgia's Student Newspaper




The Dropout Debacle


Some say that college is the best time of your life. However, for others, these formative years are the most challenging. Though filled with ups and downs, most students look forward to one day: graduation. Sadly, not all celebrate this milestone, as many end up dropping out.

College dropout rates have continued to increase over the past five years.

Kameron Lackey, an academic advisor at University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus, revealed some concerning thoughts regarding dropout rates at UNG.

“Although the state of Georgia’s graduation rate is on par with the nation’s average at 60%, unfortunately, UNG is one of the outliers for the wrong reasons.”- Kameron Lackey

Lackey also added that “UNG went from having a 51.7% graduation rate in 2017 to only having 32.6% graduate within six years and 2.6% graduate in eight years in 2021. This means 64.8% didn’t make it to graduation last year. Obviously, the pandemic played a role in this, but dropout rates were a concern even before then.”

Lackey mentioned reasons why students feel comfortable dropping out of college.

“The main reason students take the step is because of financial reasons. Other ones I have heard are that college isn’t for them, and they prefer trade school instead.”- Kameron Lackey

Beth Collins, an academic advisor on UNG’s Cumming campus, commented on how the pandemic has affected dropout rates.

“College is stressful for a lot of students as it is, and the pandemic added uncertainty of how classes were going to be. This led to most students feeling the need to not do school at all.”

Collins also said that advisors can only encourage them to not take that step, but ultimately, it’s their decision.

Howard Sokol, a professor at UNG, said, “Don’t drop out of school; trust me, your future you will thank you.”

Sokol also said that the university provides several helpful tools for students to succeed that most of them don’t even use.

Sokol mentioned a great way to motivate students who are thinking about quitting college. “College is about setting short and long-term goals to not only inspire students, but to make them better decision-makers. If students have a hard time doing that, then it’s going to be difficult for them to navigate through some situations that they might encounter in the future.”

Amid the concern of dropout rates, both Lackey and Collins are hopeful that in the near future, students will finish their degrees rather than quitting college.














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The Dropout Debacle