SOME COLLEGE, NO DEGREE

by Emily Hanford

Getting Adults Back to School

More people are going to college than ever before. But in the United States, about half the people who start don't finish. There are 37 million Americans with some college credits but no degree - more than 20 percent of the working-age population. In an economy that increasingly demands workers with knowledge and skills, many college dropouts are being left behind.

A lot of people who quit college want to go back. But money, time, and the demands of daily life often get in the way. Experts say colleges need to change if more people are going to get degrees.

There's a large and growing payoff to having a college degree. But not enough Americans are making it to graduation.

We asked people who dropped out of college why they left and whether they want to go back. Here's what they told us.

Most young Americans who finish high school now go on to college, but a lot of them drop out. Some experts say it would be more realistic for some of them to learn a trade.

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Sources in APM's Public Insight Network talk about why they went to college in the first place, and why they dropped out.
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Published Fall 2011

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The Tomorrow's College series is funded by a grant from Lumina Foundation, which is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college, and by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, which is dedicated to the belief that research is necessary to the improvement of education.

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