No.1 dropout rate in Ivy League

Posted on: October 26, 2008

Recently, The Korea Times reported a shocking result from Samuel S. Kim’s doctoral dissertation “First and Second Generation Conflict in Education of the Asian American Community.” It’s been researched that 44% of Korean Ivy League students give up their courses halfway. This is the highest percentage among all of the students, including American students.

After I read this article, I discussed about the problem with my parents and thought about the 4 prompts on Mr. Jones’ blog.


1. What does Kim say is the most likely explanation for the high dropout rate among Koreans?

Kim says that the primary problem is Korean mindset regarding education. Korean parents force their children to study rather than participate in extracurricular activities, which is considered as important as studying in America. Because Korean students spend too much time on studying, they are isolated from the local communities. Their lack of participation and interaction with others cause failures.

2. How does the dropout rate among Koreans compare to the dropout rate among other groups?

Korean dropout rate is 44%, which far exceeds 34% of American, 25% of Chinese and 21% of Indian students. It is obvious that Korean dropout rate is extraordinarily high. Korean students are No.1 dropout country in Ivy League!

3. What are you currently doing to increase your own college readiness? Is there anything you think you should do before you graduate from high school to be better prepared for university?

I’m involved in many extracurricular activities so that I have more experience in a variety of fields before I get into college. Participating in extracurricular activities is, as Kim said, important to lead a quality life in college. I am also studying on my own instead of attending hagwons because I will need to become independent in college. Nobody is there to work for me in college; it’s all about my effort and time management.

I think I need to read many books befor I graduate from high school so that I become comfortable with reading fast in English. English is not my first language, so sometimes it is challenging for me to read at the same pace as others. I have been warned that college is full of massive reading materials, so I better practice reading faster before I sit among piles of documents and books!

4. What else do you think about this article?

The first thought that came into my mind after looking at the title of this articles was ‘This article will definietly not work in favor of Korean students.’ As a Korean student working on college application these days, I am sensitive about how college administrations view Korean students. I know international students like me are categorized as U.S. citizens, but a bad news about Korean students would still influence colleges’ view on all ethnically Korean students. If many Koreans read this article and become motivated to change their mindset regarding education, that would be great. However, unless Korean students show some excellent work very soon, colleges might not want to admit Korean students anymore. I mean, who would want to pick student from an ethnic group with No.1 dropout rate?


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  • Alice: Very insightful. I shall take your advice :]
  • Mr WordPress: Hi, this is a comment.To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts' comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.


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