According to the analysis of 2003-2008 period data by the AIR researchers from the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) nationally, only about 60 percent of students graduated from four-year colleges and universities within six years. 30 percent of first-year college students who failed to return to campus for a 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. The study did not examine community colleges, where first-year dropout rates are even higher.
With high dropout rates, come high losses in state monies: The report found that thirteen states posted more than $200 million of state funds lost to students dropping out before the second year of college. The study did not look at the costs to taxpayers of students who drop out sometime after their sophomore year. Read more on the LA times