The term “dropout” is most often used in reference to students who abandon education before earning a high school diploma or General Educational Development certificate. The United States’ dropout rate has been on the rise, with more than 1.2 million students failing to complete high school each year.
According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, there are many reasons why students drop out of high school.
Table of Contents
- 1. Did not Like School
- 2. Could not Keep Up with Schoolwork
- 3. Missed too Many School Days
- 4. Did not See the Value in an Education
- 5. Got Poor Grades
- 6. Could not Get Along with Teachers or Peers
- 7. Did not Make the Transition from Middle School
- 8. Changed Schools and Did not Like the New One
- 9. Did not Feel Belonged There
- 10. Was Suspended for too Many Times
- 11. Thought Would Fail Competency Test
- 12. Got a Job and Decide to Focus on That
- 13. Did Not Have Time After Working for So Long Time
- 14. Did Not Feel Safe in School
- 15. Was Expelled for Something Serious
- 16. Was Pregnant
- 17. Married or Planned to Get Married
- 18. To Care for a Member of the Family
- 19. Had to Support Family
- 20. Could Not Afford School Fees
- 21. Just Didn’t Want to Go School Anymore
1. Did not Like School
One of the most common reasons why students drop out of high school is because they do not like the school. They may feel bored and consider school as a waste of time, and rebel against it.
Some even believe that their academic performance has nothing to do with their future job so they don’t bother learning anything at all in the class.
2. Could not Keep Up with Schoolwork
A student might neglect his or her academics and develop poor study habits, which results in failure to keep up with the schoolwork. The student’s life outside school, family problems, and health issues are often associated with the neglection of academic performance.
3. Missed too Many School Days
Some students are absent too frequently, which makes them eventually drop out of high school. Some have an unstable home environment or are forced to work in order to support their families, which prevents them from being able to attend school on a regular basis.
4. Did not See the Value in an Education
One of the most influential reasons why students drop out of school is because they do not see the value in an education. Some might think that the only way to get ahead in life is through hard work and physical labor, which can be achieved without additional education.
Others may believe that academic success will not get them anywhere in life because it does not directly contribute to the amount of money they make.
5. Got Poor Grades
Some students might find themselves getting poor grades, which results in their parents pressuring them to leave school for work. They feel unable to complete the academic requirements of high school and cannot see any hope of graduating, so they give up on education entirely.
6. Could not Get Along with Teachers or Peers
Some students drop out of high school because they cannot get along with teachers or peers. They find themselves ostracized by classmates, which makes it difficult for them to even attend classes. They also might not be able to work well with their teachers, which results in disciplinary actions and warnings against them.
7. Did not Make the Transition from Middle School
The reason for some students dropping out of high school is that they are ill-prepared for high school, which are far more difficult than middle schools they used to attend. It is usually because they did not receive enough guidance when transitioning from middle school.
8. Changed Schools and Did not Like the New One
Some students moved to a different school, but they did not like the environment there. This may be due to bullying, lack of communication skills, or depression.
9. Did not Feel Belonged There
Another reason why students drop out of school is that they do not feel like they belong there. If this is the case, their grades and attendance suffer as a result. They might be influenced by other classmates who encourage them to drop out.
10. Was Suspended for too Many Times
Some students were suspended for disciplinary reasons. This includes fighting or drug use, but might also include sleeping in class or not following the rules. These students may have no interest in continuing his or her education there.
11. Thought Would Fail Competency Test
Some students drop out of high school because they think they will fail the required competency test. They might have been persuaded by misleading information from peers or family members, who told them that the test is extremely difficult, and impossible to pass. Lack of confidence in their abilities makes them feel less motivated to pursue a high school education.
12. Got a Job and Decide to Focus on That
Some students drop out of school because they get a job and decide to focus on their occupation instead. This is usually motivated by money, as the student believes they will make more in their new job than if they had stayed in school.
13. Did Not Have Time After Working for So Long Time
Some students may have been working full-time for a while and do not have the time to continue pursuing an education. This may be due to financial obligations or family issues, which require them to work in order to support their family.
14. Did Not Feel Safe in School
Many students drop out of school because they do not feel safe in school or is the victim of school violence.
15. Was Expelled for Something Serious
Many students drop out of high school because they were expelled for committing a serious offense. This could be due to violence or drug use, which leads them to have no other choice but to leave the school system entirely.
16. Was Pregnant
Many young girls drop out of high school because they become pregnant and decide to stay home with their child rather than return to high school. This is often seen as more of a burden than an opportunity because the women may lose their entire peer group, which can affect them later on in life. Plus, they must find a way to support them financially.
17. Married or Planned to Get Married
Another common reason for dropping out of high school is because the student was planning to get married. Although it may seem like a good idea to drop out in order to take care of the loved one, it often leads to bigger problems later on. Marrying too young may lead to a divorce in the future because a person does not possess the maturity level to handle a relationship.
18. To Care for a Member of the Family
Some students drop out of high school to take care of a member of the family. This could be due to an illness or injury, which causes them to drop out in order to support themselves and make sure they are okay. Sometimes, it might be due simply because they need to financially provide for the family.
19. Had to Support Family
Another reason for dropping out of school is that the student needed to support his or her family because there was nobody else to do it. This can happen when the student’s parents become ill or injured, forcing them to quit high school and find a job in order to support the family.
20. Could Not Afford School Fees
Some students drop out of school because they cannot afford the expenses. They might be paying for their education themselves, or might have been forced out by their parents who could no longer afford it. The student is then forced to go into debt to finish his or her education at a later time.
21. Just Didn’t Want to Go School Anymore
Some students may simply lose interest in going to school and do not care about their education.
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What are the main reasons people drop out of high school? ›
- Academic Failure. Struggling in school on a daily basis is the biggest reason most students choose to drop out of high school. ...
- Attendance/Preparation. Students must attend school consistently. ...
- Disengagement. ...
- Pregnancy. ...
- Financial Difficulties. ...
- Mental Illness. ...
- Drug Use/Addiction. ...
High school and college students often drop out because they struggle academically and don't think they'll have the GPA or credits necessary to graduate. Some high school students don't want to risk failing, which could mean summer school or another year of high school.Who drops out of high school the most? ›
Dropout Rate by Race
The rates, however, remain high for people of color. In particular, American Indian/Alaska Native high school students have the highest high school dropout rate at 9.6% (NCES, 2021).
Dropouts face extremely bleak economic and social prospects. Compared to high school graduates, they are less likely find a job and earn a living wage, and more likely to be poor and to suffer from a variety of adverse health outcomes (Rumberger, 2011).Why students shouldn't drop out of high school? ›
Staying in school allows you to hone and perfect basic skills. Being able to complete your education not only shows your comprehension of communication, math and problem-solving skills, but also shows potential employers that you are capable of sticking with a job until it is done.Which students are most likely to drop out? ›
Students aged between 24-29 are most likely to drop out of four-year colleges, as 52.5% of them have already left without a degree (What to Become, 2021). Only 30% of these dropouts re-enroll in college to finish their degree (EDI, 2021).What smart person dropped out of high school? ›
Quentin Tarantino dropped out at 15.
The Oscar winner attended Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California, until he dropped out at the age of 15 and started working as an usher at an adult film theater while taking acting classes, according to Bio.
Why Choosing the Right Major Matters
- Discover your passion. First, identify what you're interested in and the skills you possess. ...
- Research different majors. ...
- Look at salaries.
High percentages of young dropouts are either not employed or are not even in the labor force. The rate of engagement in high-risk behaviors such as premature sexual activity, early pregnancy, delinquency, crime, violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide has found to be significantly higher among dropouts.What are the mental effects of dropping out of high school? ›
Those who drop out of high school are more likely to experience ongoing mental health disorders like depression. Students who are struggling to maintain good grades may develop mental health issues like anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
How do you solve high school dropouts? ›
- Communicate. ...
- Talk to them about career realities. ...
- Don't pressure them to do too much. ...
- Stay in touch with the school. ...
- Be supportive and involved. ...
- Encourage a break, rather than quitting. ...
- Consider a different school. ...
- Consider a gap year.
Studies show that dropouts will earn $200K less than high school graduates during their lifetime, and they are estimated to earn almost $1M less than those with bachelor's degrees. Additionally, high school dropouts are three times more likely to be unemployed than graduates.How does dropping out of high school affect your future? ›
A higher percentage of high school dropouts have health problems because of a lack of access to basic care. It is estimated that dropouts are eight times more likely to be in jail or prison than their graduating counterparts. This does not sound like the life free from rules and restrictions.Why should I drop out? ›
Financial pressure is one of the most common reasons for students to choose to drop out of college. If you feel stressed about the price of tuition, student debt, monthly expenses, or other financial concerns, as yourself these questions.Does dropping a class in high school look bad? ›
And while it may not be ideal, dropping a class is usually not a big deal. In most cases, dropped classes will simply appear as “W” (withdrawal) on your transcript. This means that the class will not count toward your GPA, but it also won't have a negative impact on your academic record.What is the true cost of dropping out of high school? ›
3.3 Million Dropouts in One Year
A study out of Northeastern University found that each high school dropout costs taxpayers $292,000 through the course of their lives. Feel free to do the math here, but according to my calculations that equals nearly $957 BILLION a year.
Concerns about not having enough friends, not being in the same class as friends, not being able to keep up with friends in one particular area or another, interpersonal conflicts, and peer pressure are a few of the very common ways kids can be stressed by their social lives at school.Is it normal to drop out of high school? ›
Yes. In fact, some of the most successful people in the world never graduated from high school. And for every famous dropout, many other dropouts exist who quietly lead prosperous and fulfilling lives.Why do boys drop out of school more often than girls? ›
A new in-depth report from the Zero Dropout Campaign has revealed that boys are more likely to drop out of schools than girls due to the complex gender roles and norms that are applied to them during their schooling.Who of the following is most likely to drop out of high school quizlet? ›
-Economic reasons; quit school & take jobs to help support their families. -Students from low-income families are more likely to drop out. -People who had poor relationships with their parents were more likely to drop out of high school despite doing well academically & behaviorally.
Is dropping out of high school really that bad? ›
High school dropout is associated with negative individual and social consequences. For example, dropping out of high school can lead to long-term economic hardships that can weaken health and family functioning. Dropout is typically viewed as the result of long-held vulnerabilities such as learning problems.How many kids drop out of school because of stress? ›
More than three-quarters of bachelor's degree students who have considered dropping out in the past six months cite emotional stress as the reason, according to a Gallup-Lumina report released in April. That's a 34-percent increase from its previous report in 2020.How many students drop out of high school due to stress? ›
Among students who do not complete high school, over 20% prematurely end their education because of early-onset psychiatric disorders—with mood disorders being the most common. Identifying risk factors for depression can help identify children who may be struggling with the onset of depressive disorders.What state has the highest high school dropout rate? ›
The states with the highest percentage of students not graduating on time were New Mexico (28.9%) and Oregon (23.3%). On-time graduation rates are lowest in Wheeler County, Oregon, where 74% of children fail to complete high school on time.Why do most girls drop out? ›
Poverty is a prime indicator
Girls from poor families must overcome an especially difficult set of obstacles to successfully complete school. Poverty is the primary factor associated with dropping out.
Academic difficulties and the family's economic needs are two of the most common reasons kids drop out of school. In some cases, it might also be due to the company of bad friends. However, not having a basic education might not have a good impact on a child's future since it limits their employment opportunities.What gender has the highest dropout rate? ›
College Dropout Rates by Gender
Data likewise shows that there are more female high-school graduates enrolled in college compared to men, with dropout rates 20% higher among men than women, (ThinkImpact, 2021).
❖ Students at risk of dropping out are likely to have poor attendance, low achievement, and negative attitudes toward school.What are the predictors of dropping out of high school? ›
Early research suggested that certain social and family background factors were associated with an increased risk of dropping out, such as being poor, minority, from a single-parent family, or from a family with low educational attainment or low support for education (Barro and Kolstad, 1987; Eckstrom et al., 1987; ...What city has the most high school dropouts? ›
Bakersfield, California, has the most high-school dropouts in the country for metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 people. Roughly 16 percent of the Bakersfield population over 18 does not have a high-school diploma.
What is the average lifespan of a highschool drop out? ›
In comparison to college graduates, the average American high school dropout's life expectancy at birth is 14.2 years less for men and 10.3 years less for women . During their lives, dropouts are more likely than graduates to experience both chronic and acute health problems .What are the benefits of dropping out? ›
- You can earn money instead of accumulating debt. Higher education can be expensive, depending on where you go to school and how much financial aid you receive in the form of grants or scholarships. ...
- You can explore your interests. ...
- You can take advantage of other learning options.