How to Avoid Getting in Debt and Dropping Out of College

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Between 2007 and 2009 I went back to college and earned my masters degree. When I worked as an intern in the admissions department of the university I attended, it soon became clear to me that students and their parents faced a serious dilemma. I learned that most universities and colleges in the United States have a graduation rate of approximately 40 to 60%. (If you run a business and are only able to retain 40 to 60% of your customer base, you are headed for bankruptcy.) While there are many reasons why this happens, the top two are lack of financial support for students and inadequate advising from the university or college. What makes things worse, is that students, who do not receive the proper advising, can become discouraged when they are not clear on what to select as their major course of study. They can waste precious dollars and incur large amounts of debt trying to pay for classes in a major that they are not even sure will be right for them. Many students feel like they are wasting their time and eventually “stop out” (temporarily stop taking classes) or completely “drop out” of college.

Ignorance and Apathy
Many times, college students are not aware of some of the resources they have available to them through the university or college they are attending, or from which they have graduated. Depending on the institution, most college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors do not adequately use the university’s career services center or financial aid. There were many excuses for this concern, but sadly the biggest were, the all too familiar; ignorance and apathy on the part of both the students and the university.

Hold Students and Advisors Accountable
It would be safe to say that if students had advisors who held them accountable and in turn, held their advisors accountable to encourage them to take full advantage of career services that were available from their institution, they would be able to maximize the students’ (and their parents’) investment of their time and money. Students would be more successful in their quest to graduate with a degree, in a field that matched their aptitude, professional purpose, and where there were ample careers waiting.

My recommendation for students to avoid this dilemma is to take responsibility for:

1. Getting the best possible advisor and to use him or her regularly.
2. Take full advantage of the college or university’s career services department.
3. Take full advantage of the financial aids department and relentlessly seek out available scholarships, grants, internships, and part time work.
4. Do not use credit cards to pay for tuition, books, food or housing.

If you are interested in a better career in your field of study visit

Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a business consultant, speaker, coach and author. He helps companies and organization become more profitable by increasing their value and lowering their costs through the professional development of their managers and employees.

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