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Back To The Future - States Enticing Dropouts to Finish College

Back To The Future - States Enticing Dropouts to Finish College
Susan Dutca-Lovell

In hopes of boosting the local economy, Tennessee state education officials spent roughly $1 million this past year in advertising enticing college dropouts to finish what they started.

The state's partnership with Tennessee Reconnect is just one of several comeback programs established to combat the "nearly 37 million working adolescents nationwide [that] have some college credits but no associate or bachelor's degree". By 2020, 35 percent of jobs will require at least a bachelor's degree, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Therefore, public and private universities are digging into student records and recruiting students who completed more than half the work needed to graduate.

Mississippi's public universities similarly announced their Complete 2 Compete initiative which encourages adults to earn their degree. Other states, including Iowa, North and South Dakota and cities including Albuquerque, NM, and Louisville KY are seeking similar programs for returning adult learners, which often include grants and credit for work experience.

In states where 30 percent or less of working adults are sans a bachelor's degree, the median wage was roughly $15 an hour, according to a 2013 report from the Economic Policy Institute. In states where more than 40 percent of working adults have a bachelor's degree, median wages were $19-$20 an hour - an annual $10,000 difference.

Over 270,000 emails, 125,000 postcards and 30,000 phone calls have been sent and made by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to nontraditional adult students who left college without a degree in the past 10 years. The goal by 2025 is to have 60 percent of adult residents graduate with a degree.

Do you support these programs from nontraditional adult learners? If you are personally looking to go back to school after taking some time off or not completing your degree, check out our adult student scholarships here.

Comments (2)
Ernest B 3/10/2017
It's all about the money. Colleges and universities have gotten way too expensive but often you can only get loans to pay for it. Also, there seem to be more and more requirements for graduation such as math. Most people not in the STEM fields only need basic, day to day arithmetic and maybe a little statistics. They don't need and don't want algebra, calculus, etc. and so forth. So, many older students tell colleges and universities to shove it where the sun don't shine and don't finish work for a degree. College means too many problems and many people do not want to be bothered with it as well as cannot afford it.
Alexus Warfield 12/27/2016
Knowing that you were able to get to college and start off something, shows that you can "finish what you started". A bunch of people do not believe in themselves, and if me commenting on this could help a bunch of people I would greatly do it. You are not anyone else but yourself, you do not act, nor talk, nor think like anyone but you. Your actions, your voice, and your ideas, could possible influence another individual. If you finish what you started, you could be that influence to another individual.
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