Students Dropout Rates- Top 3 Triggers

Are you even a university student if you haven’t questioned your major, or almost got sucked into your “friends” MLM scheme? Or even considered dropping out to start a business at 3 am? We all know you have. Jokes aside, when students begin their college journey, they hardly think of the possibility of dropping out. Abandoning the opportunity they’ve worked and waited for, it just seems like the wrong thing to do – at least in the beginning. But you know what- it’s more common than you think. Studies from Education Data shows that more than 40% of U.S. college students enrolled in a bachelors’ program drop out. The dropout rate for Freshmen is 30%. 

As you might have already guessed, for obvious reasons, Covid-19 has exacerbated the dropout crisis. In fact, the number of students coming back for a second year of college dropped in 2020 to the lowest level since 2012. More than  26.1% of the  2.6 million students who started college in fall 2019 did not return next year, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Centre. The rate was even more jarring for community colleges. 

The soaring dropout rates all across North America college campuses come with some severe consequences for not only students and their families, but also the economy.  Even though some big corporations like Apple and Tesla don’t require their employees to have a degree, most companies still do. Findings from Education data shows how college dropouts are more likely to face unemployment and  earn about $4 per hour less than high school graduates with a professional certification. Which ultimately leads to more students defaulting on their student loans. Adding to the existing 3 Trillion dollar burden on the global economy. 

But ever wonder, why students drop out? Of course, there are multiple factors that trigger the dropouts. Keep reading to see the top 3 reasons why students consider leaving early. 

Reason 1: Work and Family Obligations

A study by the  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that one of the main reasons students think about dropping out is the demanding and conflicting nature of school, work and family.

To finance their education, many students take up a part-time job, which can sometimes prove to be detrimental to a student’s academic success. According to Public Agenda, 54% of college dropouts cited difficulty balancing work and school as one of the main reasons for discontinuing education. That’s a lot of people.

On top of that, during Covid-19 lockdowns many students were responsible for taking care of their younger siblings, nephews and nieces while balancing their own online education. Not to mention the few who also had to tend to parents or grandparents in their sickness.  No wonder so many had to make the tough decision to choose family over school. 

Reason 2: Mental Health Issues 

Research and awareness around mental health has still a long way to go. A recent report from the National Academies cites that the dropout rate for students with diagnosed mental-health problems ranges from as low as 43% to as high as 86%. Looking from the schools’ perspective, in a December 2020 survey by the American Council on Education,  68% of university presidents indicated student mental health as one of their most pressing issues. 

Reason 3: Financial Situation

The most common trigger for dropouts is that students can’t afford their college fees.  In the US, as of 2021-2022, the average cost of tuition at any 4-year institution is $28,775.  In Canada, for the same academic year, the average undergraduate tuition is $6,838 and postgraduate tuition is $7,472, both up by 1.7% and 1.5% respectively, from previous years. Since 1978, Education Data reports university tuition has increased by 1375%.

The exponential increase in tuition fees is the sole cause for dropping out for 50% of the students enrolled in the 2017-2018 academic year – a survey by the India Times suggests. This stats is further confirmed by the findings from a survey from LendEDU, an online student loan refinancing company, and FundingU, a student loan lender which suggests that the surge in costs have led to a 51% dropout rate. 

Although the skyrocketing dropouts rates can be a result of a complex set of variables, we at payd believe that it’s high time the educational institutions joined the conversation around a holistic approach to student success, as they have a major role to play. That is why, to help the schools understand some of the most pressing student frustrations, and address them appropriately,  payd has digitized the physical student card while adding tools that will help students pay off their education and succeed in the future with their cashbacks, roundups, crowdsourcing and investment features. 

Schools are not in the position to just provide education, they have the responsibility to help pay for it . You can be the one starting that change. 

So, what are you waiting for? Request payd at your school and join us in helping students reach their full potential.