I recently spoke to a graduate coordinator of a mathematics PhD program I was planning to apply to. I asked about admission, requirements to complete the degree and such. The program coordinator ended up telling me that usually they only pass 50% of the people in the program in the qualifying requirement, and the rest either get kicked out entirely or can finish with a masters. At first I thought this only happens maybe once in a while or something, but I asked for a clarification and he indeed stated that they have made that as their threshold since "not everyone deserves to earn a doctorate"?
This is a US program. Is this attitude here common? If it is, I'd much rather apply to European programs. I don't want to get kicked out because a program made a mistake in choosing me. I thought programs only admit students they believe are able to successfully finish the program. Apparently I was wrong. Is this the norm or even fairly common? I am confused.