I currently work at a state university and students do indeed fail out. It is also true that the state is exerting pressure for us to change that. The state is also instituting changes to make it easier for students to get more college credit from AP and dual credit. Makes it cheaper/faster to get through, but maturity matters too and students don't perform as well when they take upper level courses sooner and the prerequisites were taken at a JuCo. It is also true that students who fail out can get their acts together and come back... and those that do usually perform really well the second time through. Do students perform poorly because they are working too much? Yes. But students now like to live with a certain lifestyle that my college age self couldn't have dreamed of. That being said, states have cut way back on subsidizing state schools, so public schools now cost what private schools did 30 years ago (accounting for inflation).