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Seventeen-year-old Zakiya James is raising money to keep her from dropping out of engineering school.

Last summer, Zakiya majored in Civil Engineering at the University of the District of Columbia Community College and then spent 10 weeks in the Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology at Duke University, as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

Zakiya completed the Duke program with great recommendations from her professor.

After her experience at Duke, Zakiya’s transfer credits were accepted at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But the 17-year-old junior studying Civil Engineering needs $70K a year for tuition.

“I did get a small scholarship from Drexel, but it is not nearly enough to cover the cost,” she wrote on her Go Fund Me page.

“I need your help with tuition cost for my first two- quarters,” she adds.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 20 percent of young people who begin their higher education at two-year institutions graduate within three years.

There is a similar pattern in four-year institutions, where about 4 in 10 students receive a degree within six years.

“This is clearly a personal disappointment for the students and their families,” observes a Public Agenda report on why so many college students drop out.

The study, “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them,” tested the assumptions many of us make about college students today and why so many of them fail to graduate.

It also helps to identify solutions that young people themselves say would help most. With underwriting from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Public Agenda surveyed more than 600 young adults, ages 22 to 30, who had at least some higher education coursework.

The report concludes that increasingly experts and leaders see the college dropout rate as a threat to U.S. competitiveness and a phenomenon that perpetuates economic insecurity and inequality.

To help Zakiya James stay at Drexel University, please click on the link to make a donation.



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