The reasons for this can be vast and varied, from lack of finances, commitment or interest, among other potential causes. Let’s look at what some of these reasons could be.
This might be one of the leading causes of people dropping out of high school or college or not even opting to go to college in some cases. Many students have to earn their livelihood and must make a sufficient amount of money to support their living arrangements, food, education and so on. In certain instances, students might even be the sole providers of their families and this puts them in a financial fix. Financial troubles are aggravated for such students because of the ever-increasing cost of attending college. For instance, the average tuition cost at a private, not-for-profit four-year university for 2015 academic year was $31,231, a huge increase from the $1,832 in the 1971-1972 period. Public, four-year universities cost about $9,139 for 2015. In 1971, they barely added up to $500. College tuition fees have been rising more than 6% above the normal rate of inflation, making it increasingly difficult for a large number of students to afford it.
Possible Solution: One of the best ways to go about financial concerns is to apply for financial aid or scholarships. A lot of universities and other grant-awarding associations have elaborate financial plans that allow you to continue your studies, along with a job. If you are unable to get financial aid and the college policy does not allow you to have a full-time job along with a full-time study program, you can always opt for distance learning. This will give you time to focus on a well-paying job as well as your education.
For people with active family lives, attending a full-time college becomes an issue. A lot of people drop out of college because they got married or had a baby. This change in priorities results in education going down the hierarchy or importance. Time constraint, combined with the financial constraints that come with raising a child can typically force people to discontinue education. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, there are almost 4 million student parents that were enrolled in undergraduate programs in the US as of 2011.
Possible Solution: The first thing you can do is look for child care or day care center options for students in your college. More than 1,500 educational institutes offer child care services for students and faculty members who have children. If this does not work out for you, online education can help solve the problem, by giving you the opportunity to study from home while you keep an eye on the children as well.
Dissatisfaction with the Major
Quite often, students end up enrolling in programs because they sounded interesting from the general outlines given by the college. But once they get into the process of studying these subjects, it does not come up to their expectations. This can lead to an increasing dissatisfaction with studies over the course of the degree and a genuine lack of interest in pursuing a career in the field.
Potential Solution: Before matters get out of hands and you are halfway into your degree, it would be wise to talk to an education counselor as soon as the first signs of dissatisfaction with the subject begin to appear. Give the subject a fair chance, instead of switching around from one major to another. Once you are sure that your current major is not what you want to do, make a well-discussed plan to leave and choose the next major wisely.
Lack of Practical Relevance of the Major
Quite often, you start studying a particular subject only to realize soon that it does not have a great market value in terms of income-generating power. Initially you might have thought differently, thanks to all the flowery images that the subject outline painted in front of you, but once you got into actually studying the concepts in detail, you realize that they are too theory-oriented.
Potential Solution: Since the subject itself is of great interest to you, abandoning it altogether for another subject is not the answer you are looking for in this case. A better solution would be to find a university of applied sciences that offers the same course, but with a more practical format. If the course remains the same, you might even be able to transfer some credits that you have already acquired. Another thing you can do is sandwich a course at a vocational college. With this, you can get practical experience, along with covering the relevant study materials.
Dissatisfaction with Study Conditions
Sometimes the actual course content plays a smaller role in your decision as compared to the atmosphere of the university you study at. For instance, you might be alright with the subject, study material and practical relevance of the major, but you might be having trouble adjusting to the over-crowded classes, lack of extra-curricular activities and lack of professional qualifications of your teachers, etc.
Potential Solution: If you are genuinely unhappy with the campus facilities and the environment where you study, start doing your research on other colleges that are offering the same major and the same quality of education but in a much more improved atmosphere. You might have to pay a little extra for the better student-teacher ratio and better campus life, but at least you will be satisfied with your college experience and would not want to drop out.
These are only a few reasons why so many students drop out of college every year, or do not go to one all together. However, keep in mind that no matter what your reason for dropping out of college is, there is always a solution that can help you continue your education.