JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A report from the Southern Regional Education Board found that Mississippi had the second highest rate of college enrollment in 2008, but the highest rate of students dropping out of public universities by the end of their freshman year.
The SREB report cites that 78 percent of students who finished high school within the previous year enrolled in college whether that was a four year university or a community college.
After tracking freshman students from 2002 to 2008, it found that just 49 percent of first-time, full-time college freshman graduated.
Senior Engineering student at Jackson State University Olayanju Kayode moved to Mississippi from Chicago in 2001 to attend college.
"I was struggling in my classes, I was really struggling in my classes," Kayode said. "You know I had to regroup."
To do this, he took a few years off of college to figure out what he wanted to do, but says it was tough to get back in the motion of school.
"I was at the point where I did not feel like I was going to make it. I did not feel I was going to be able to continue."
Kayode says he's now on track and has learned a method to his success.
"Create a task list and go about it that way. Each and every task that I need to full-fill that day I cross it out and it makes me feel confident about myself," Kayode said.
Senior Communications major at Belhaven University Emily Boyd says she attended Mississippi State University for two years.
She transferred for a better opportunity at Belhaven, but says in the two years she attended MSU, she realizes that it's easy for students to get off track.
"Going from a big school where you really are just a number it seems," Boyd said. "Going to a private school it's very personal. They know your name, they keep tabs on you."
However, Boyd says it does surprise her that so many students drop out because education in the 21st century is a commodity.
"Nowadays, it's really important for people to have that degree, and I don't understand why people would want to neglect that," Boyd said.
The SREB also reported that state community colleges had one of the high percentages of graduation rates in the nation.
23 percent of full-time students enrolled in 2005, graduated by 2008.
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