You hear it time and time again, “college will be the best four years of your life.” It’s this whimsical time frame where you’re slowly becoming an adult but are still allowed to act like a kid. And with this new phase, comes a lot of new responsibilities and transitions, which can be harder on some more than others.
There’s no one equation as to why students drop out of college, but below are seven of the most common.
- Too expensive
According to US News and World Report, out-of-state tuition and fees rose 226 percent from 1995 to 2015 while in-state tuition and fees rose a staggering 296 percent. And in addition to these prices, students must pay for books, rent, living expenses, and social outings. Many students take out loans in order to offset prices but that doesn’t always suffice.
As you prepare for college, be sure to look at all your financial options. Look into various scholarships through sites such as Petersons, Unigo and Fastweb. And once you’re in college, look into a part time job on campus that will help you save and offset the rent and living expenses. There are different ways around the expense of college but they will take additional effort.
- Hard time balancing work and school
Speaking of part time jobs, they can be a blessing and a curse. Often times, having to work is the number-one reason students drop out of college. Their expenses get too high; they start putting in more hours at work and spend less time studying and attending classes. Today, young adults know the importance of a higher education but they also understand that it’s hard to live comfortably without a job, so they choose the latter with hopes to return to school later on.
- Being “just a number”
College is a vast place with thousands of students, hundreds of classrooms, and only handful of professors. It’s hard for each and every student to get the attention they need. And often times, students start feeling like just a number which causes them to feel indifferent about their college experience and ultimately, drop out.
It is not the responsibility of professors to seek every student out and get to know them personally, but for some students, this can be a game changer. They need others to be as invested in them as they are.
When starting college you must make it a priority to introduce yourself to faculty and classmates at the beginning of the semester. Foster those relationships early on and you will feel less like a number and more like a student.
- Family emergencies
Many times students will take time away from college because of a situation at home. Whether it’s a sick parent, the wellbeing of a sibling, or the death of a relative, families can take a toll on these students. This time from college is often thought of as temporary but ends up being permanent because of the responsibility they feel to grow up fast and take care of their family.
This is when building those relationships with your professors comes significantly into play. Professors are generally understanding of certain situations and will work with you to finish your school work on your own time. This is something you must try before permanently choosing to leave.
- Not needing to finish the degree
There are a handful of students who go to college in order to learn the skills needed to obtain a specific career or get a leg up in one they are currently pursuing. Since most colleges have plenty of resources, these skills can be obtained before finishing a degree, resulting in students dropping out to pursue the career or promotion of choice.
- Excessive socializing
Up until college, students may not have experienced this amount of freedom. They are suddenly allowed to make their own choices and build their own schedules. Yes, there are some regulations students must follow when living on campus, but they do not have to get their decisions approved by their parents or elders. This causes students to spend most of their time socializing with peers instead of attending classes and doing their homework. Although it may not be their choice to drop out, this sort of balance does not always suffice for a successful college experience.
High school classes hardly prepare students for the work load they come to experience in college. College classes are faster paced and require more time spent on them outside of class, which many students are not ready for. This can cause students to feel an excessive amount of stress and discomfort in college, contributing to their drop out.
More often than not, college is expected of us. Society has taught us it’s the next step to our future after high school. But sometimes, college isn’t for everyone. And we will never know the reasoning behind every drop out but we wanted to dive deeper into seven of the possible reasons why your classmate is no longer showing up to class. There’s no perfect equation for college, for dropping out, or for life, but by understanding the possibilities, you’ll better understand how to handle certain situations.