Top Reasons To Leave College

Some of us completed an advanced degree program. Others made it to college, only to leave before earning that magic square of paper.

It seems that more many, not even the allure of parties, casual dating, and living away from mom and dad is enough of an incentive to keep students in school. So, why do ambitious young people drop out of college?

If you’re returning to campus as a sophomore this fall but can’t seem to find all of your friends, don’t be too alarmed. Research shows that thirty percent of college and university students drop out after their first year, and about half of all college students never graduate.

Students are Leaving College without a Degree and Plenty of Debt

Thanks to the financial assistance I received from scholarships, I was able to attend a small, private university in my own hometown. I met a lot of new people during my freshman year, most of who came from out of state. Some of them seemed to disappear after the month-long Christmas break between the fall and spring semesters, and others never returned after summer vacation.

College completion rates have been stagnant in the United States for the past thirty years, which is the main reason that the Obama administration has started a new $12 billion plan to help boost the number of community college graduates by the year 2020.

Despite government assistance and drop-out prevention programs, facts are facts—a large number of students never earn a degree. The sad part is that most of them walk away from school with massive debt and no real skills to earn a decent-paying job.


With almost every degree comes at least a decade of financial misery. Every kid is entitled to a quality college education, but sometimes finding the money to get that education isn’t easy. The average cost of a private, non-profit college is about $35,000 a year. For many, the choice is either to sign their life away to student loans, or pack their bags and head home for cheaper pastures.


It’s tough finding out there’s more to college than keggers and sex. For many kids, high school was easy to blow off. Kids who could coast through high school sometimes hit college and are unprepared for the effort they need to put in to succeed.

There is a big difference in the pre-algrebra they took their freshman year of high school, and the calculus they are required to take in college. Once the academic withdrawals start rolling in, they start looking for a life that’s just a little less challenging.


Sometimes college is about making tough choices. Sadly, the world doesn’t stop just because college starts. There are times when the personal life of a student will interfere with their ability to finish a semester. Whether it is a loved one falling ill, or a parent’s loss of a job that forces a kid into the work force, there are times when college has to be put on hold. The only hope is that life won’t get in the way of college forever.


College can be a fun time for a kid. For some, it’s about experimentation and self discovery. For others, sadly it’s about putting their liver through the ringer. It’s hard to make the Dean’s List when they can’t wake up for their noon class. Kids who party too hard don’t study enough, and that kind of routine catches up with them quickly. A semester or two of living the Animal House fantasy will get them kicked out of school.


It’s too bad college can’t figure out the rest of your life for you. Imagine going to your job everyday without direction, knowledge, or even a sense of what’s next. That’s how many kids feel when they go to campus the first time.

Sitting in a classroom gets old when they feel no reason to be there. Some take the step to scale back their education and enroll in community college courses. Others give up the world of academia until they figure out what they want.


Who needs college when there are so many glamorous jobs out there? Some students see college as a means to make themselves more attractive to potential employers. Others see college as getting in the way of potential employment. Those students tend to leave college to join the work force. Some students say “yes” to a dream job. Others quit school and take a job that is more or less limiting to their financial future. There’s hope that it will lead to bigger and better things, but those instances are few and far between.


There are a number of students who go to school and work full time. These students are usually older, and in a position where leaving their job isn’t an option. So, when the balance of job and school gets to be too difficult, something has to give. At that point they have to turn in their textbooks and get back to work.


Heartache might seem like a weak excuse to cut your education short, but it’s real, and it hurts. Relationships are difficult to maintain in college, and breakups can be one big soap opera. The constant painful memories, and the dividing of mutual friends might be too much for a person to take. That’s when students get packing.


College can often bring forlorn looks out of every kid. College is about the unknown. For many kids this is an exciting time. For others it’s just too much. There are a number of students who relish the comforts of home. Everything from the taste of mom’s homemade chili, to the pizza place on the corner, symbolizes security to the homesick college kid. When those old familiar things start calling, it’s time for these students to get home.


The Real Reasons You Leave College

  1. Too much fun at the expense of classes and grades.
  2. A sense of not belonging; a sense of isolation, homesickness.
  3. Academically unprepared; burned-out on education.
  4. Financial constraints; low on funds.
  5. Personal family issues.
  6. Academic climate/fit.
  7. Choice of wrong major; major not offered.
  8. Lack of advising, guidance.
  9. Demands from part-time or full-time employment.
  10. Move to a different geographic location.