Student Retention: 10 Reasons why young people drop out of College


Students after high school are on the lookout to study in the college of their dreams. Furthering their educational goals means better career opportunities and more life experience. However most learn the hard way that college is not what is depicted on TV. As a result, of the many students who are accepted into these colleges, only a few actually complete their tertiary education. Here are ten of the most common reasons why students today drop out of college.



This is the main reason why students drop out. College is expensive. In addition to that, most students have problems budgeting and living off of just their pocket money. As a result, most have to fore-go necessary things. For instance a college student will choose to only have one or two meals a day because many meals mean spending more. Such challenges are too much for most students. If their caregivers lose their jobs and can no longer afford to pay for their education, the student will have to find a job to sustain themselves.


Poor Preparation At The Secondary School Level

Studies have shown that the level of readiness that students inherit from their high school impacts their studies. If they are ill prepared, they are unlikely to cope well with the heavy workload and the changes in lifestyles that they experience in college. Those affected choose to leave school because there are too many challenges for them. While colleges can do more to ease the workload of the students, the coursework does not allow it. This means that ultimately, it is the mental attitude of a student which determines whether they will continue with their education, or drop out.


Students Are Not Satisfied With Their Major

Sometimes factors like society and parental pressure dictates what students study in college. If the subject that the students are studying is not the student’s choice, they feel suffocated and unsatisfied with it as they may not have the will power to deal with the challenges associated with it. As such, students resort to drop out. Sometimes, a subject that the student is specializing in may be something he/she chose to specialize in. But turns out, it did not meet their expectations, which further provokes the student to drop out. This means that choice or no-choice, students drop out because they aren’t happy with what they are studying.


Family Issues

Family is a source of comfort and solace for college students. While family is great, for most students they are a burden that impacts their education. This is more so if the family is struggling with issues. These issues dig deep into the mind of a learner and they may be unable to think properly. Some may have to take time off from school to deal with these issues.


Too Much Fun

College life is often unsupervised. So if a student makes the wrong friends, they may fall into a pit they cannot crawl out from. It is easy for a student to fore-go study time for an awesome party or end up taking so much alcohol, that they lose sense of who they are. It is therefore critical that learners find a balance between school work and course work.


Lack of quality time with Teachers

The student-teacher ratio is higher than ever. This means that teachers do not have enough time to focus on each and every individual student. Therefore students who are slow often struggle with what is taught. They may feel that they are lagging behind and may opt to quit because they believe that they cannot catch up with others. If the student teacher experience improves, there is a personalized approach that will make life better for students, which in turn, might keep them from dropping out.


Lack of Student Support

Sometimes a student is not able to comprehend what the teacher is teaching. This is where student support groups are important. Support teams help students when they face issues with their education. It also helps them deal with any academic related issues and problems that they may face. When these issues are resolved, the chance of early dropouts is significantly reduced.


Increasingly Failing Courses

This is not an issue of failing just one class. This is the issue of students who get overwhelmed during the foundational years of their course and are unable to keep up with the course the following years. The piled up work make students feel demotivated and stressed for additional reasons.


Not Understanding Your Talents

Students must understand their talents and what they need to know. When a student understands their talents, all they need is education to help them manage them better.


Lack of Appropriate Advice

Students are misinformed about college life and how to study. The advisors they meet are people who graduated years ago and have no idea of the challenges that students face today. With poor advice, they are completely unaware of what awaits them.



To conclude, keep in mind that dropping out of college does not mean that you can’t go back and complete your degree later. Graduating is important and more information needs to be presented to students so that they know what to expect, and they don’t drop out early due to unmet expectations.




Marianna Draws
Blogger, Writer

Professional writer by choice and health savvy by habit, Marianna Draws is a contributor at Smartpillwiki. She is a strong believer in the power of positive thinking, and regularly develops internal wellness campaigns with effective mental health techniques.