Understanding the College Dropout Rate

Understanding the College Dropout Rate
  • Opening Intro -

    There is a pressing issue that is currently rocking the higher education sphere - the alarming college dropout rate.

    What are the main causes behind this trend and what practical guidance on how to avoid becoming part of this troubling statistic?


The college dropout rate represents a significant issue that plagues our educational system today. Despite the numerous opportunities and benefits that a college education provides, a considerable number of students often leave without completing their degrees.

Main Causes of College Drop Out

There’s a myriad of reasons that contribute to the college dropout rate. Some of the most prevalent causes include:

  • Financial Struggles

    Many students face immense financial pressures, from tuition fees to living expenses, which can lead them to abandon their studies due to their inability to cope with these strains.

    Academic Challenges

    College academics can be tough, especially for students who weren’t adequately prepared in high school. These academic challenges can cause students to feel overwhelmed, leading them to drop out.

  • Personal Issues

    Life isn’t always smooth sailing. Personal issues like health problems, family emergencies, or mental health struggles can also contribute to students leaving college prematurely.

Historical Percentage of the College Dropout Rate by Year

Over the past few decades, college dropout rates have fluctuated, showing a concerning trend overall. Let us delve into some notable historical percentages:

  • 1980s: College dropout rates hovered around 35%. This was a decade characterized by a strong push for higher education, but also high educational costs.
  • 1990s: Dropout rates decreased slightly to approximately 33%. This was due to various factors, including the advent of financial aid and increased access to education.
  • 2000s: Despite efforts to make college more accessible and affordable, college dropout rates spiked to around 40%. The increase was attributed to higher admission rates and larger class sizes which made personalized learning more challenging.
  • 2010s: The dropout rate remained relatively steady, still around 40%. Despite an increase in online and flexible study options, students continued to face financial and personal pressures that led to dropout.

These numbers clearly show that the college dropout rate remains a critical issue, and addressing the underlying causes is crucial to ensure more students can successfully complete their degrees.

Colleges with the Highest Dropout Rate

Several institutions, unfortunately, have particularly high dropout rates. Below are some of the colleges that have recorded the highest dropout rates in recent years:

  1. Southern New Hampshire University: This institution has a staggering dropout rate of approximately 61%. Despite its strong push for online education, the majority of their students do not complete their degree programs.
  2. University of Phoenix-Arizona: This university’s dropout rate is similarly high, with around 59% of students failing to graduate.
  3. Ashford University: Ashford University has a dropout rate of approximately 57%. While it offers online and flexible study options, these haven’t been enough to keep students from leaving.
  4. Walden University: With a dropout rate of 55%, Walden University also struggles with student retention despite its efforts to provide accessible education.
  5. Capella University: Capella University rounds out the top five, with a dropout rate of 53%.

These statistics highlight the importance of understanding the causes of the college drop out phenomenon and working effectively to address them.

other related articles of interest:

How to Avoid Dropping Out of College

While the reasons for dropping out are myriad, there are strategies to avoid becoming part of the dropout statistic.

  • Seek Financial Aid

    If financial struggles are a concern, seek out financial aid or scholarships. Many colleges and institutions offer assistance to students facing financial hardships.

  • Develop Strong Study Habits

    Overcoming academic challenges requires dedication and discipline. Develop strong study habits, seek tutoring if needed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  • Take Care of Your Mental Health

    Lastly, maintain good mental health. College can be stressful, and it’s essential to prioritize your well-being. Reach out to campus mental health resources and don’t hesitate to ask for support when needed.

By understanding the causes of college dropout and taking steps to address these issues, we can hope to see a significant reduction in the dropout rates. Remember, dropping out isn’t the only option, and there are always resources available to help.

Image Credit: college dropout rate by envato.com

end of post … please share it!


end of post idea


Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please share this article within your social networks.

facebook linkedin pinterest

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: SayCampusLife.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The commission earnings are used to defray our cost of operation.

View our FTC Disclosure for other affiliate information.

Categories: Campus News

Write a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.