http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/298817

College drop-outs costing the US $9 billion

Posted Oct 11, 2010 by KJ Mullins
Over a five year period students who dropped out of four-year colleges and universities before their sophomore year cost the United States more than $9 billion according to the American Institutes for Research (AIR).
California, Texas and New York led the nation in government spending for students who opted out of higher education before they finished two years of study reported the analysis, Finishing the First Lap: The Cost of First Year Student Attrition in America's Four Year Colleges and Universities.
"Every fall, first-year college students receive significant funding from colleges, states and the federal government. And every spring, hundreds of thousands of students decide not to return to college. When students enroll in a college or university and drop out before the second year, they have invested time and money only to see their hopes and dreams of a college degree dashed," said Dr. Mark Schneider, an AIR vice president and the former commissioner of the federal National Center for Education Statistics in a press release. "These costs can be heartbreaking for students and their families, but the financial costs to states are enormous."
Students who finished their first year but failed to return for the second year accounted for $6.2 billion in state appropriations for colleges and universities and more than $1.4 billion in student grants from the states. Grants totaling $1.5 billion were also provided for these students.
The study did not research the funding lost at the community college level where the first-year dropout rate is higher than the four-year schools.
The average subsidy for students who attend public colleges or universities is about $10,000 each year.
"As state colleges and universities struggle in a difficult budget environment, what is most disturbing is how much direct state support has been lost to college drop-outs," Schneider said.