In 2009, President Barack Obama talked about the US losing its competitive edge, and wanted to increase the college graduation rates. The competition, he said, would come from developing countries like China and India. Manufacturing jobs have mostly gone to China and customer service to India and other Asian countries. More and more private companies have been setting up Research and Development centers in emerging economies where they can find cheap and talented workforce.
The public school system are not delivering the results despite the spending (as a percentage of GDP) being higher than other developed countries. Funding to schools are being cut, teachers are being fired, and mediocrity has taken over. The No Child Left Behind Act has also played its part.
- There are about 3 million students graduating from high school each year.
- Approximately 70% (2.1 million) are enrolling in college within two years of graduating from school.
- The total undergraduate enrollment is 17.5 million.
- Only 57% are completing a bachelor’s degree within 6 years.
- 43% students fail to complete a bachelor’s degree in 6 years or are dropping out.
Per a US News report, 6 of the top 10 universities, 13 of the top 20, and a large proportion of the world’s best universities are located in the US. If the US has the best universities in the world, why are so many students failing to graduate from college? The dropout rate in the US is the highest among the OECD (also the most developed) countries.