Taxpayers spent more than $9 billion over five years subsidizing students who didn't make it to the second year of four-year degree courses, according to new research from The American Institute for Research (AIR).
Most students attend public colleges or universities that are subsidized directly and through grants to students. Nationwide, these subsidies average nearly $10,000 a student each year.
California lost $467 million in college-drop out subsidies, with states including Texas and New York also topping $400 million. The average state spent $120.5 million in state subsidies to first year dropouts between 2003 and 2008.