No, we’re not advocating that students drop out of college. Staying in college is a good thing and graduating from college is even better. But, unfortunately, a lot of students aren’t able to finish college as planned. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the national six-year graduation rate is about 60%. That means that 4 of 10 students who start college may drop out before graduating.
Why do students leave?
There are many reasons that students leave college. There may be one overriding factor or there may be multiple factors. According to most surveys, the primary reason for leaving is financial. College tuition costs continue to rise and many students, and their families, find that they simply cannot continue to put together the necessary funds or continue to amass huge college loans.
Another reason for leaving is closely related to financial issues. According to one study, financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 54% of students who attend college work full time. Many of these students find that they cannot continue to balance a full time job and full time student load, and so they drop out.
Students may also leave college for reasons beyond financial. Some students find they are not prepared academically for college level work. Some cite lack of support or social difficulties such as fitting in, finding friends, or getting caught up in a culture of drinking or drugs. Some encounter mental health issues or lack the maturity to be able to function independently. And some students may simply be unmotivated: perhaps they never wanted to attend college or they are uninspired by their major or field of study.
Whatever the reason, if your student begins to talk about dropping out of college, it can be scary. You’re not sure what to do or where to go from here.