For first year college students, college can be stressful. Tuition, family issues and curriculum are all factors graduating from college.
“Schools can increase graduation rates if they have strong leadership, if they’re devoted to making student success a priority and if they work at it. The trouble is many don’t work at it. Another trouble is that states are cutting back on subsidies, forcing tuition increases that are scary.” according to Mark Schneider, a vice president of the American Institutes for Research.
Columbia students will be paying 5.2 percent more for tuition and fees beginning next semester, according to the Columbia College Chronicle and former President of Columbia College, Dr. Warrick L. Carter,
At Columbia, student Yetenzia Diaz said she won’t be attending Columbia next semester.
“I think students would decide to leave college because it’s expensive as hell,” said Diaz. “They don’t want to do a lot of work because they just got out of high school so they’ll be like, ‘I’m just gonna work for my money, like, I’m getting money anyways so whatever.'”
Diaz, who has always had a passion for graphic design, said she still feels that her school’s curriculum is challenging.
“I’ve never been good at school since I was little,” she said. “I was in the extra help classes ’cause I don’t get stuff fast.”
She said she felt a lot of pressure in her classes.
“It’s hard for me to understand the programs sometimes,” she said. “I just feel like I’m not utilizing my creativity enough ’cause I’m scared.”
Some first generation college students say that they don’t have as much pressure because of how they were raised.
“I don’t have any [pressure] at all, and I say that because I didn’t have the average upbringing by both parents,” said Donnell Seanior, a former student who is taking a break from Columbia for financial and personal reasons. “It’s almost like I’m living for me. Not because my parents did this. So I have to do it better.”
“A lot of times it is about expenses, but expenses don’t matter until you actually get the bill,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Wait, maybe we can look at other things,’ or, ‘You can go to the army and come back, and they can pay for it,” said Seanior.
But, does one’s skin color have anything to do with higher or lower retention rates at a college?
“I don’t feel like race is a component, your background really is,” said Diaz.
Seanior said: “I don’t think it has nothing to with race but I think it has something to do with class. The more poor you get it’s like, go to school OR do this.”
Alischa Thomas, assistant manager of a Payless Shoe Source, who is African-American, said she believes that there is a correlation between ethnicity and attending college.
“Other ethnic backgrounds, they have stronger family foundations and traditions, and they’re expected to go to college,” Thomas said. “For example, our parents don’t pressure us [African-Americans] to go to college as much as other backgrounds like Asians or Caucasians.”