Students entering college today have plenty on their minds already, such as debt and landing a job when they get out. Now, add one more fear to the list: worries about dropping out.
More than half of prospective students believe there is a chance they won't finish college, according to a new report from Allianz Global Assistance.
The most likely reasons? A family emergency, stress, and mental and physical health, the survey found. The findings are based on a poll in May of 2,004 college students, prospective college students and their parents.
Americans are going to college at higher rates than ever, said Kit Yarrow, professor emeritus at Golden Gate University, increasing stress for students who might not be ready or would prefer to take a gap year.
"It's almost like going to high school now," she said.
It appears that shift may be changing, however. Full-time enrollment immediately after high school no longer makes up the majority of college students, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
And only a minority of students, about 35 percent, graduate within four years of enrollment, said Mark Schneider, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research. Less than three-quarters graduate within six years, he said, which can lead to a situation where a student has taken on debt but does not end up with the skills and higher wages a degree might bring.