Students who drop out of the state’s community colleges their first year cost Connecticut taxpayers $8.4 million annually, according to a new report funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The report released by the American Institutes for Research found that after taking into account students who transferred to other schools, those that ended up not returning cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion.

In Connecticut, about half of the students that enroll in two-year public community colleges never make it to their sophomore year, according to another recent report from Complete College America.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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