What Are the Causes of College Dropouts?

Living independently, managing your time and withstanding the rigor of college classes can be overwhelming. Some students thrive in this environment and others make the difficult decision to drop out. A 2015 National Center for Education Statistics report estimates that only 59 percent of college students graduate within six years. Most dropouts leave college before entering their second year, because of one or more influential factors.

Rising Tuition

Many simply can’t afford the rising costs of college tuition. In 2015, The National Center for Education statistics indicated that tuition at public institutions rose 33 percent over the past 10 years. Some take a leap of faith and believe they will find a way to pay for college as they go along but soon find out it is not possible. A 2017 study conducted by Financial Advisor magazine found that 52 percent of women and 41 percent of men dropped out of college because of an inability to pay tuition, room and board.

Too Much Stress

Even if students can afford tuition, the immense stress, pressure and little sleep some must endure when having to juggle work and school often become too much to bear. Because of higher costs for nearly everything, few raises at work and an unstable future in Social Security, fewer and fewer parents are able to support their children through college. In addition to working to afford school, young adults must financially support themselves in paying for rent, utilities, cell phone and other monthly payments. The rigor of college courses combined with working long hours is often too much to bear, for some students.

Insufficient Preparation or Motivation

Transitioning from high school to college can be a rude awakening as studying, developing time management skills and prioritizing become far more critical. Some students never find a balance between social life and studying. The first year in college is an introduction to independence and it is common for students to have difficulty remaining motivated to go to class. Unlike high school, missing class will not result in a phone call to mom and dad. When students do poorly in class, common excuses include being overwhelmed by studies, taking required courses believed to be unnecessary, feeling bored and claiming classes were too difficult.

Family Issues

Many students enter college bearing the brunt of the responsibilty to care for siblings or assist with basic financial needs, at home. Students who are trying to pay for college and help out with family expenses are even more likely to have difficulty remaining in school. In addition, more adults are choosing to return to college while raising children. Balancing the rigor of college and the need to spend time with children is taxing. Online courses and more evening, weekend and summer classes can allow those dealing with family issues to still obtain the higher education they desire.