Dropping out of college is never an easy idea. To come up with such a solution entails a lot of things that could be happening in your life. You are not on your own if you have these thoughts.
However, before you decide to drop out, there are a few things you should know about dropping out of school.
This guide looks at what you need to know about dropping out of college. You will know whether it is bad to drop out and if there are chances to go back.
What should every college dropout know?
Dropping out of college is a personal choice. You have to assess what you are currently doing in life and determine whether the course you are studying at the college level is something you want to pursue.
Do you have a passion for working in that line of business? For example, you are studying fashion and design, but your heart has always been with the aviation industry.
You will have to ask yourself whether it is worth it to complete that course if you know too well you will not pursue that career
College Dropout Rate
It is reported that in the United States 40% of the overall dropout is for undergraduate college students.
Image by: educationdata.org
This means that around 7.8 million college students in the U.S will be saying goodbye to a college degree or a college education.
What are the top 3 reasons why students are dropping out of college?
- Financial Pressure 38%
- Academic Disqualification 28%
- Poor Social Fit 13%
Image by: educationdata.org
It is well known that college students feel that financial obligation and is no wonder why is the number 1 reason for a college dropout. Some of these statistics are low-income students that are more in need of scholarships, federal loans, or grants.
Here are a few things every dropout should understand:
Dropping out of school is just fine
After clearing high school, there is no harm in getting into the workforce. Many students see going to college as the immediate next step after high school, but it is a choice.
Choosing not to join college or drop out doesn’t mean you are lazy or stupid. There could be several reasons you choose not to, and it could be the best decision for you.
One thing is clear; college is expensive. You will be shocked how one-year fees for college are enough to pay for a down payment on a dream house. That means to go ahead with college has to be worth it and, of course, the right path for you.
Did you know that 60% of the jobs in the US do not require a college degree? That shows that you do not need to have a college certificate to secure a well-paying job.
So, if you are sure you are not passionate about what you study in college, why waste your time and energy on something you will put aside later on? Probably some want to have that college experience. The college will offer you lots of stuff, not just going to classes and jolting down notes.
In college, you will interact with people, make new friends, make mistakes and make huge decisions in your life. College is not the only place where you can experience this.
Meeting new people outside, getting a job, volunteering, traveling, practicing your hobbies, and even starting a business is a great way to have that non-scholastic experience you were seeking in college. There is no credential in any of these life lessons, but they will mold you into a better person and make you wiser.
It is a risk
While you will not be imprisoned for skipping college, have in mind that it is not an easy decision to make. Bachelor’s degrees are still as useful and crucial. Many companies will require you to have a bachelor’s degree to be considered when an opportunity arises.
It is also clear that students that hold a bachelor’s degree earn more than those who don’t. As much as 60% of jobs do not ask for a college certificate; the other 40% will need to see a bachelor’s degree to be employed.
Dropping out is a high risk that you must critically analyze and decide whether it is worth it.
If you want to drop out because of the high tuition fees, are there ways you can make it affordable? If the career path you choose does not require a college certificate when starting, will it be required when you need to scale up?
Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly since only you will know the best decision for you.
Ask a professor should you drop out of college?
Sadly, almost half of the students that join a college on the first day do not graduate. There are several reasons why students drop out of college.
These may include health issues or falling behind in class. Whichever the case, you should look for a working alternative before you decide to drop out.
High college fees
Tuition fees in colleges keep rising, which could be one of the major contributors to many college dropouts. Students worry about the student loan debt and how it will be repaid in the future if they land a low-paying career.
However, many students fail to take advantage of the grants and scholarships given to students who do not wish to borrow more loans.
You can take advantage of such grants and avoid borrowing many loans.
Personal issues can also push students to drop out of college and fail to earn a degree. These could be illnesses and health problems, or even mental problems.
Student parents will also find it hard to carry on with their studies.
As much as you prioritize your well-being, some colleges offer support services to students that may require some kind of help to carry on with their studies.
That could be via programs like flexible online classes, student mental health services, and much more.
What are the alternatives to dropping out of college?
No matter how overwhelmed you may be about your college studies, consider these alternatives before making the huge decision. These could be transferring schools, taking absence leave, or even dropping classes.
If you are struggling with your college studies, always reach out for help. Instructors may recommend tutoring centers and supplementary resources if you have a lot of workload.
Financial aid advisors will recommend scholarships and grants to help you out with financial matters. If you have any mental issues, you will be channeled to the mental health counselors and such services.
Take absence leave
You can leave school for one year as you sort out your issues. Take an absence leave and come back later when you are good to carry on with your studies.
This means you can suspend your studies without withdrawing. These leaves of absence are given to students with mental or medical issues. You can also take leave to save up for tuition fees.
Usually, high schoolers will attend six classes every day, and most students think they can handle that after enrolling in college.
College classes require more time and research, so six classes in a day can be quite overwhelming. Consider taking only 3-4 classes a day.
If you are overwhelmed, drop some classes rather than decide to leave school. You can even decide to try out part-time studies to acquire some peace of mind and have ample time to relax your mind.
Dropping out is not the solution if you simply transfer schools to an affordable one. If you have some financial constraints, transfer to an online school, community college, or a public school where the tuition fee is affordable.
Is dropping out of college bad?
You are still young, and you are not sure whether dropping out of college is good or bad for you. Well, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as you may want to hear.
It could be bad or good for you, but the bad would carry much weight. That is because high-paying jobs will always ask for a bachelor’s degree before employing you.
As most jobs will not require a degree, studies have shown that people with degrees earn more than those who do not have one. So, assess your options and what you want in life before making that decision.
If I drop out of college, can I go back?
Yes, it is possible. You can enroll back in college even after dropping out. It is never too late to carry on with your studies. In fact, the faster you go back, the better it is for you.
Technically most people who go back to study in college are from the working class. Below are simple hacks to help you remain in school after returning until you earn your degree.
Identify motivating factors
Map out what reasons made you go back to school. Why was your interest in college renewed? These are the things that will keep you going in college and motivate you to keep pushing.
You could even revisit these reasons every week to assure yourself you are on the right track.
Make use of reimbursement programs.
Some employers offer help with tuition for employees who are still in college. They add this perk to retain and keep the employees in the company.
Check with your employer or the HR department to assess whether they have such a perk. If your employer does not have this program, you could switch jobs, especially if you plan to change your career.
Get an employer that will help you out with the tuition fee.
Fill the FAFSA
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, where you might receive some grants and/or a federal student loan. You could talk to the financial aid office to get more information even if you do not want to apply for student loans.
Have a support system
Returning to school and staying until the end is not easy. You may have doubts about going back to college, and even after rejoining, you could still have some doubts about whether it is the best thing to do.
That is why you need a support system that will keep pushing you to attend your classes. These could be your coworkers, friends, or family.
They should encourage you and ask you to keep pushing toward your dreams. You could also show them how important going back to college is for you.
How do you know if dropping out is the right decision?
Here are a few things to assess and know whether the decision to drop out is viable or not.
- You lack motivation – college is four years of hard work and research. If there is no motivation to attend classes, find internships, or join clubs, then college may not be the best idea for you. Find what motivates you and sets your soul on fire.
- Family or medical reasons – if you have distractions such as family issues or medical issues that hinder you from working on assignments and attending classes, you could drop out temporarily and see how it goes. Some time off could help.
- Financial constraints – if you cannot afford tuition fees, then drop out and look for that money or find an alternative.
- You are occupied somewhere else – nowadays, it is much easier to be an entrepreneur. If your business has taken off and is doing great, you could drop out and run the business successfully if you have a great passion for it.
- Not ready – if you are unprepared to join college and carry on, drop out and work on what feels more viable as far as modeling your life is concerned.
What will you do when you drop out?
After dropping out, you need to map out what next to do with your life. Since many students may not be certain about what to do, here are a few suggestions:
There are many alternatives out there nowadays for college education, the first place to look is online courses, there are some pros and cons to getting an online education rather than a traditional college degree. The biggest difference and the most obvious is the cost.
Try to look for something that moves you towards your career goals, at the same time look for some job opportunities and compare the time you need to spend learning a new skill to apply those to that new role, you’ll be surprised by the number of employers that want people to be practical and knowledgeable in a specific subject rather than a college degree.
Volunteer at a service organization
Volunteer firms will send volunteers for multi-yearlong and yearlong service commitments where you can gain lots of experience.
Here you will learn new skills, interact with people and even use your knowledge. Remember that to volunteer; you do not have to be a graduate.
Find a job
Look for a part-time or full-time job. You will get some money to pay the student loans as you learn new skills.
Even though you may not be earning as much as your friends with a degree, it is a great way to kick-start your career. Check out the civil service websites and apply for the jobs listed.
Look for long term goals
Now that college is no longer in the picture – at least not for now – you need a new roadmap for your life. Write down your goals and start working towards those goals.
Having a direction in life keeps you focused.
Achieve those goals and better your life.