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We all know that paying for college is an obstacle many students face day in and day out. But did you know that it’s keeping millions of students from finishing their education? This can affect everything from the job market to career aspirations for students everywhere.

An increasing number of students are dropping out before getting their degree

More and more students are leaving college without completing their degrees, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 

From 2013 to 2019, the number of people who dropped out jumped from 29 million to 36 million. Through 2024 employment opportunities are expected to grow by 10%. The downside? Most of those jobs will require bachelor’s degrees, which makes these stats pretty alarming.

So, what’s keeping students from completing their education? It’s a mixed bag of reasons. From a strong job market that might have enticed students away from school to economic factors that keep them from continuing. 

You can read all about the rising number of students that are dropping out, and the reasons surrounding those decisions in this Hechinger Report piece

Financial obstacles are standing in the way of one student who dreams of finishing her education

Speaking of students dropping out… CNBC recently started an op-ed series written by college students struggling to pay for college. In the first piece of the series, Arizona State University student, Alexandria Montoya, reflects on watching her dream of becoming a journalist crumble before her eyes. 

The hardworking student had to make tough decisions to avoid a mountain of debt that she’d carry with her into her future. Working full time and going to school, she came up against financial obstacles that eventually forced her to take an extended leave of absence from the school.

It’s a heartbreaking look at the sacrifices many students have to make to keep themselves above water financially. You can read her story here. 

How one UCLA  donor hopes to help middle-class families afford college

At UCLA, one donor is trying to help supplement the financial burden many middle-class families have to take on. For middle-class families, there’s a lack of federal aid available due to their income bracket. Yet their income still isn’t enough to cover the aid gap left to ensure their child can afford to go to college. It can be a big roadblock when it comes to sending their children to college. 

Philanthropist and film producer, Steve Tisch, donated $10 million towards student scholarships specifically allocate for middle-class families. UCLA will use these funds to close the aid gap for these students, making their dream of higher education a reality.

With federal aid covering less and less for students whose families make too much money, but not enough to cover the cost of college, scholarships can serve as the only real opportunity they have to stay in school. 

Learn how UCLA plans to distribute the funds and more about the scholarship here

We are not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education. Federal Student Aid (FSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Education, makes the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form and assistance available to the public for free at fafsa.gov.