Would it surprise you to know that out of the 18 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States ranks dead last for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it? Out of all the high school grads who jump into college, just 56% of college students complete their four-year degree within six years:
One factor in these disappointing statistics is America's for-profit schools, which have garnered plenty of recent media attention. Such schools are sometimes accused of being "dropout factories" that send students out into the workforce with major debt and few skills. But there are a number of four-year public universities, funded at least in part by taxpayer dollars, that have graduation rates that are just as bad as -- or worse than -- their for-profit counterparts.
Despite taxpayer investment in higher education, it looks like college is a costly failure these days.