In the United States, more students drop out of college than receive a degree. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only four in 10 students receive a degree within six years and only 20% graduate with an associate’s degree from a two-year institution within three years. Over the past 20 years, more than 31 million students have enrolled in college and left without receiving a degree.
While it’s no secret a college degree has a significant impact on an individual’s socioeconomic status – with four-year degree-holders earning 134% more on average than high school graduates – the rising costs of higher education have placed many college dropouts in a precarious position.
These dropouts owe some of the $1.5 trillion in student debt. From 2015 to 2016 alone, more than 3.9 million undergraduate students dropped out with federal student loan debt, totaling an estimated $28 billion.
According to Sarah Horn, CEO of ReUp Education, a San Francisco-based startup with $7.8 million in funding dedicated to sending drop-outs back to school, many students who leave college before graduating struggle to pay off their loans without the benefits of a college degree.