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Dropping out of college: What you should know

Dropping out of college



Do you have second thoughts about dropping out of college? You’re not alone, to be sure. With so many incredibly successful entrepreneurs (think Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg) dropping out of college before graduating, I can understand your concerns. There are a few things to think about before dropping out of college. Continue reading for more information on this and more. 

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What should I know about dropping out of college? 

You’re taking a risk by doing so. 

While there’s nothing wrong with not going to college, it’s not a decision you should make lightly. 

Bachelor’s degrees aren’t a waste of time. To be considered for a job, many HR departments demand applicants to have one (whether or not the role requires such an education). Students who obtain a bachelor’s degree also earn more money than those who do not. While 60% of employment may not require a degree, the remaining 40% do. 

It’s a big risk to skip out on getting your degree. As a result, you should question your own decision. Consider why you’re taking a new path and what the repercussions will be. 

Perhaps you won’t need a degree in the future. Cool. But what about jobs that aren’t directly related to the one you’re applying for? Will you need that degree to advance in your career? 

Maybe you just don’t enjoy learning in a classroom setting. But what if you could get a degree without going to school? Would you do it if that was the case? Perhaps college is out of reach. You don’t want to borrow money. What if you could make it more affordable? Ask yourself the tough questions and honestly answer them. Keep all options open until you’ve figured out what you’ll need to get ready for the future you want. Is going to college the best method to achieve your objectives?

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If you don’t earn a degree today, it doesn’t mean you won’t get one later. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that skipping for now means skipping forever. In fact, a year or two in the job may be just what you need to excel in school: your life experiences will surely influence what major you choose, which school you attend, how you study, and where you go after graduation. (As an added plus, working full-time for a few years will help you save enough money to pay for that degree debt-free.) 

However, there is one caveat: going back to school once you’ve begun working is quite difficult. 

You’re making real money today, and you’ve most likely accrued real costs as a result. You’ve established habits, built a social life, and devote a significant amount of time to simply keeping your life going smoothly. Returning to school will necessitate some difficult compromises. 

One of the reasons why so many students are urged to begin college immediately after high school is because of this. High school pupils are still accustomed to studying full time and have few conflicts of interest; achieving academic success remains their primary priority. While this isn’t the only way to do things, it is the simplest. 

However, going to a nearby school is far from difficult, especially if you have a clear vision for why you’re going and, perhaps, some assistance along the way.

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Why Students Dropout of college 

Students dropout of college for a variety of reasons. While each student has their own reasons, the following are some of the most common: 

Financial difficulties 

Financial difficulties are the most common cause for students to drop out of college. 

According to LendEDU, 55% of students struggle to pay for college, and 51% of students leave due to financial difficulties. 

So it appears that students require financial assistance, which they are unable to obtain or secure in any other way, and have therefore decided to pursue other options. 

We must also keep in mind that many students are responsible for repaying their student loan, which is a significant financial hardship for young people. 

Inadequate academic preparedness 

Many institutions address a student’s lack of preparation as soon as they enroll. 

Students may be unable to deal with the college workload due to simple issues such as language and maths. 

The reality is that submitting college-level work is challenging, and many kids struggle to adjust. 

It’s not so much an issue of whether they have the right skillset as it is about being ready for a different (and more advanced) level of job. I’m not convinced by their decision. 

The majority of students will drop out of college because they are unsure of their future route. They choose a path based on what their family or friends suggest, only to discover later that it is uninteresting to them. This occurs frequently, which is why many young people are forced to do things they don’t want to do. 

Work and family responsibilities 

Some students simply find it too difficult to balance their college studies and their household obligations. 

Work and personal obligations might sometimes take people away from their studies, resulting in college dropouts. 

Unfortunately, for many young people, this is the case. 

Academic Failure

Low academic performance is another major reason why college students drop out. 

If they continually receive poor grades, they become demotivated and consider dropping out of college or changing their major. 

This is particularly common during freshman and sophomore years, when students have more experience and are less influenced by failure. 

Teachers and counselors are unable to provide enough guidance. 

Despite having picked a major, some students seek guidance. 

However, a lack of direction can make them feel lost. If the college lacks teachers or counselors who can properly advise students, they are more likely to drop out before trying something they are passionate about. Teachers who can be terrific mentors for young people are in high demand these days. 

Unfavorable Learning atmosphere 

Some students drop out of college because they are not sufficiently driven to finish it. 

It could be something as simple as a lack of peer collaboration or a lack of teachers who inspire them to improve their grades when they fall behind.

What to Do If You Want to Drop Out of College 

You can’t just decide to drop out of college on the spur of the moment. 

Follow a thorough strategy to ensure you’re not making a hasty decision or jeopardizing your future. 

Notify your loved ones. 

The first and most important step is to inform your family. 

They must understand why you are considering dropping out of college, what your next plans are, and how you would like them to support your choice. 

Notify your instructors and the college. 

To drop out of college, you must follow a set of instructions. 

They should be explained to you by your college adviser, counselor, or even your professor. 

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When you notify the college, they will usually ask you to formally state your plan in writing. 

They also keep track of the withdrawal’s formal date as well as other documents. 

Complete your semester. 

If you’re in the middle of a semester, it’s a good idea to think about finishing it. 

Completing it only makes sense because you’ve most likely already paid for the semester and have completed the majority of your classes. 

Although it may appear to be a stretch, when you drop out, the semester in which you do so is recorded. 

If you’re thinking about dropping out of college to start your own firm, check out our essay on whether entrepreneurs should attend college. 

Make a refund request to your college. 

Let your institute know if you still want to drop out of college before the semester finishes. 

Request a refund so that you can put the money toward your future objectives. 

The refund process may take a little longer, so start early if you’re certain about your decision. 

Make a plan to meet any financial responsibilities you might have. 

You may be required to repay part of the money you received from the college in the form of grants or scholarships. If you drop out of college early, you may still be responsible for tuition for the remainder of the academic year. Make certain you are aware of any duties you may have to the college.

What Alternatives Do You Have to Dropping Out of College? 

Dropping out may be the only option for many college students. However, rather than withdrawing, consider decreasing classes, taking a leave of absence, or changing schools. These options can aid students in their pursuit of a college diploma. 

Seek assistance. 

Students who are having difficulty in college should seek assistance. Instructors might refer students to other resources, such as tutoring centers, to assist them cope with a heavy workload. Grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid might be recommended by financial aid experts. Academic advisors can also refer students to mental health counselors and other resources. 

Classes should be dropped. 

High school students frequently have six classes per day. Some students may believe they can handle a comparable workload in college without realizing that college classes take a lot more time. Three to four classes per semester is considered a full-time load at several universities. 

Students who are overburdened academically should consider dropping one or more classes rather than dropping out entirely. Moving to part-time status can sometimes help students make progress without becoming academically burned out. 

Remember that each institution has its own set of criteria for dropping classes. While most allow students to abandon classes early in the semester, withdrawing from a class later in the semester may necessitate additional paperwork. If a student drops a class late, they may be responsible for paying tuition. Taking up a more manageable course load, on the other hand, may have less negative implications than dropping out entirely. 

Take a break from work. 

A leave of absence can be taken by students who need to leave school for up to a year. Students can take a leave of absence without formally withdrawing from school. It will be easier to return to school later if you do this. 

Students with physical or mental health concerns might take a leave of absence from college. A leave of absence can also be used to work and save money for school. 

Changing Schools 

Undergraduates can transfer to a different school rather than dropping out. Transferring to a public school, an affordable online school, or a community college can help students who are struggling financially. 

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Transferring could also assist kids in balancing school and other obligations. More flexibility may be available at a local institution, a university closer to home, or an online school.

How much does it cost to drop out of college? 

Many students feel overburdened by the amount of debt they’re taking on to attend college, but what they may not realize is that they’ll have to repay the student loans they took out to cover the months or years they were there. Student loans, in essence, do not appear after you have earned your degree. They build up as you go to school. For example, if you borrow $10,000 for your first year of college and subsequently drop out, you must still repay the money. You have nothing to show for it now. Second, think about how much it will cost you over the course of your life. According to research, a college graduate’s median yearly pay is $45,500, whereas someone who has only completed some college earns $30,000 on average. Students who only attended some college but did not complete their bachelor’s degree had higher unemployment rates.

What should I do if I don’t want to go to college? 


Take a break and bring yourself back to the present moment if you start to feel anxious. While it may appear overly simplistic and even stupid, times of unrest and transition are ideal opportunities to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness, or being aware of your thoughts in the current moment, keeps you centered, calms you down, and prevents your  mind from running in a million different directions at the same time. 


Get your passport ready; the world is waiting for you. Traveling allows you to get away from everyday life, avoids questioning from family and friends about what happened to your studies, and exposes you to new cultures, foods, landscapes, and ways of living. Where should you go, though? Find ideas via reading blogs, using social media, talking to friends, scribbling thoughts on a sheet of paper, or spinning a globe and stopping it at random. There is no better way to restart your life than a few weeks or months away. 

Start a company. 

All of your class-taking and hobby-revisiting is bound to spark your imagination! Why not channel that zeal and combine it with a touch of business acumen? You’ve just become the proud owner of a brand-new small business concept! Hundreds of blogs and online groups can help you define your viewpoint and detail the procedures to acquire clients, whether your idea involves freelancing, selling handmade goods, event planning, or something completely new. It won’t be easy, but with time and effort, you could find yourself working for yourself part-time or full-time! 


Volunteering your time to a great cause can help you find purpose and pride in yourself. Because there are so many charities and relief groups that need help, deciding which one to volunteer for is the first step. Start by thinking about what you’re enthusiastic about. It could be animal rights, the environment, education, poverty alleviation, or the discovery of a disease cure. Volunteering possibilities can be found in one’s own city, country, or even across the globe. Some positions even need a long-term commitment, which could include living and volunteering in a different nation for several weeks or months.

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