Rhode Island Joins National Trend To Lure Back College Dropouts

Ann McClure's picture

The University of Rhode Island, reeling from a dropout rate among seniors that has doubled from last year, has joined a nationwide trend to encourage dropouts to return for a few last classes and finally earn a college degree.

The school introduced a "Finish What You Started" program in recent months after discovering the dropout rate among its roughly 4,000 seniors had doubled to about 300 from 150 last year, University of Rhode Island (URI) Provost Donald DeHayes said.

"There really isn't a single reason or small number of reasons that people have dropped out," DeHayes said. "We're finding it's as much about a terrible job market as it is being able to afford it."

URI joins several universities across the country with similar programs to bring back dropouts who had earned most of their degree credits, including the University of New Mexico, University of Oklahoma and University of Kentucky.

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