5 in 100 High School Students in America Are Dropping Out. Why?
Though high school dropout rates have decreased in America in recent years, an alarming number of students are still abandoning their education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 5 in 100 students (aged 16-19) drop out of high school each year.
So, what’s causing so many young people to leave school before earning their high school diploma? This article will explore some of the most common reasons students drop out of high school.
Reasons Why Students Drop Out of High School
There are many reasons why students drop out of high school, but the top 15 reasons are:
1. Lack of Engagement.
One reason students may drop out of high school is a lack of engagement with the material. If students are not interested in what they are learning, they are less likely to put forth the effort to succeed.
In addition, boredom can lead to disengagement and, eventually, dropping out. Students who are not challenged by their coursework may become bored and tune out completely.
A study by Johns Hopkins University found that nearly 60% of students who dropped out said they did so because they “just stopped going.” The lack of interest and motivation eventually becomes too much for these students, and they give up on school entirely.
Another common reason for leaving school is poor grades. When students consistently earn low grades, they may feel like they are not capable of succeeding and decide to drop out rather than continue struggling.
Additionally, poor attendance can lead to falling behind in class and ultimately getting bad grades. If students miss too many days of school, they may not be able to catch up and may eventually give up and drop out.
3. Peer Pressure.
A third reason students may drop out of high school is pressure from friends or family members. Peer pressure can be a strong influence, especially in the teenage years. Students who feel like they do not fit in or are not accepted by their peers may be more likely to drop out. Additionally, if students feel like they are not supported at home, they may also be more likely to leave school.
4. Academic Struggles
Some students drop out of high school because they struggle academically and don’t feel like they can keep up with their classmates. A study by the National Center on Education Statistics found that 38% of dropouts said academic difficulties were a significant reason for leaving school. For many students, feeling “behind” is too overwhelming, and they give up on school altogether.
5. Lack of Motivation.
Lack of motivation is also a common reason for dropping out of high school. Students who do not feel motivated to succeed are less likely to put forth the effort needed to earn good grades and graduate.
In addition, students who do not have parental support are more likely to drop out. Parents can provide motivation and encourage their children to stay in school even when times are tough.
6. Lack of Parental Support.
A sixth reason students drop out of high school is that they need to work to support themselves or their families. If students work long hours, they may not have enough time to complete their homework or attend classes regularly. Additionally, if students work a low-paying job, they may be tempted to drop out and get a higher-paying job.
7. Financial Needs.
Students with financial needs may also be more likely to drop out of high school. If students cannot afford to pay for their books or other supplies, they may be less likely to succeed in school. Also, if students cannot afford to eat breakfast or lunch, they may not have the energy or focus needed to do well in class.
8. Lack of Resources.
Another reason students drop out of high school is a lack of resources. If students do not have access to a computer or the internet, they may not be able to complete their homework or keep up with their classes.
Additionally, if students do not have a quiet place to study at home, they may be more likely to fall behind and eventually drop out.
9. Personal Problems.
Students dealing with personal problems such as illness, pregnancy, or family issues may also be more likely to drop out of high school. Students struggling to cope with their personal problems may not have the time or energy needed to succeed in school. Moreover, if students feel like they are not supported at home, they may be more likely to drop out.
10. Poor School Environment
Another common reason students drop out of school is that they don’t feel safe or comfortable in their environment.
A study by the Civil Rights Project found that nearly 1 in 3 African-American students who dropped out of high school said they did so because they felt unsafe at school. This was especially true for students who attended schools with a high concentration of poverty. For many students, the decision to drop out is a way to escape a toxic or dangerous situation.
Other students drop out of high school because they become pregnant or have other responsibilities that make it difficult to stay in school.
According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, about 1 in 4 teen girls who drop out of high school do so because of pregnancy or parenthood. This is particularly a problem for low-income students, who may feel they cannot afford to have a baby and go to school at the same time.
12. Gang Involvement
Gang involvement is another common reason for dropping out of high school. Students involved in gangs may miss school because they are in jail or afraid of being attacked by rival gangs.
Additionally, students may skip class to participate in gang-related activities such as drug dealing or graffiti vandalism. Gang involvement can also lead to poor grades and eventually dropping out.
13. Drug Abuse
In addition, many students drop out of high school because of drug abuse. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 1 in 3 high school students who drop out do so because of drug abuse. Drug abuse can lead to poor grades, truancy, and eventually dropping out.
Many students also drop out of high school because of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 teens has a mental health condition that interferes with their ability to succeed in school.
If students are not getting the help they need, they may be more likely to drop out.
Bullying is another main reason why many students drop out of school. According to a study by the National Education Association, nearly 1 in 3 students who drop out of high school say they did so because they felt unsafe at school.
Bullying can make it difficult for students to concentrate on their studies and make them feel like they don’t belong in school. Additionally, bullied students are more likely to skip class and eventually drop out.
How to Deal with High School Dropout Rate in the United States
There are many ways to deal with the high school dropout rate in the United States. Some of these methods include:
Providing Incentives for Students to Stay in School
One way to deal with the high school dropout rate is to provide incentives for students to stay in school. This can be done by offering scholarships, grants, or other financial aid for students who maintain good grades and attend classes regularly.
Additionally, schools can offer free or reduced-priced lunches for low-income students, which can help them afford to stay in school.
Improving School Climate and Safety
Another way to reduce the high school dropout rate is by improving the climate and safety of schools. This can be done by increasing security, providing counseling services, and creating more positive school climates. Schools can also offer programs that teach conflict resolution and anger management.
Making School More Relevant to Students
Another way to reduce the high school dropout rate is by making school more relevant to students. This can be done by offering interesting and engaging courses, providing internship and job shadowing opportunities, and teaching real-world skills. Additionally, schools can create smaller class sizes so that students feel more connected to their classmates and teachers.
Improving Teacher Quality
Another way to reduce the high school dropout rate is by improving teacher quality. This can be done by training teachers on how to effectively teach challenging material, offering incentives for teachers who improve student achievement, and hiring more experienced and qualified teachers.
Engaging Parents and Families
Another way to reduce the high school dropout rate is by engaging parents and families. This can be done by involving parents in their child’s education, communicating regularly with families about their child’s progress, and offering parenting classes. Additionally, schools can provide resources for families so that they can help their child
Providing Support for At-Risk Students
Finally, one of the best ways to reduce the high school dropout rate is by providing support for at-risk students. This can be done by offering tutoring and mentoring programs, after-school activities, and support services for students with mental health issues. Additionally, schools can connect students with community resources so that they can get the help they need to stay in school.
Although there are many reasons why American high school students drop out, it is a problem that can be solved. There are ways to help prevent students from dropping out and from keeping them in school.
If you are a student who is considering dropping out, or if you know someone who is, don’t hesitate to contact High School of America today.
We can help you find the resources and support you need to stay in school and graduate. With your help, we can make a difference in the high school dropout rate in the United States.