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Local services battle high college dropout rates

Next Generation Zone in Spokane has services that help students transition from high school to college.

SPOKANE, Wash.— A local organization is doing its part to combat high college dropout rates.

Next Generation Zone in Spokane has free services that help students transition from high school to college and stay in college.

The services target the many problems college students face their first few years of school.

One of the biggest problems is finding a balance between life, school, relationships and work.

Next Generation Zone employee, Calvin Posnett said he experienced the struggle first hand during his first year at Spokane Falls Community College.

He said he was working 40 hours a week while going to school full time. He said that it was a stressful time in his life.

“In my mind, I thought I was just really focused on my goals, but what was really happening was I was sacrificing my own happiness to get extra money or to try to move things along faster,” said Posnett.

Next Generation Zone employee Brandi Langhofer said economic strain is often the main reason students don’t complete their degrees.

“I think the biggest component is figuring out what you need your class load to be, along with what you need to do work wise,” said Langhofer.

According to the Department of Education, 59% of American college students who studied at a public school graduated within six years. Private nonprofit colleges had a 66% graduation rate. Lastly, private for profit institutions had a graduation rate of just 23%.

Posnett said his advice for other college students who are facing the same decisions he did is not to take on more than they can handle.

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