Every year 33% of students choose to drop out of college in the US. Many people would think that it's a terrible idea, considering how much time and effort students have spent to get into college in the first place. Add to it the benefits of higher education and the prestige that comes with it.
Yet, if you look at it from a different perspective, dropping out of school is a legit option. We all know the inspiring success stories and achievements of former dropouts. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Michael Dell left college to follow their dreams and managed to build multi-million dollar companies.
Do all college dropouts make it big? No. It is a huge decision that will affect your future in many different ways. So before you make it final, consider all consequences of dropping out of college.
Why Do Students Drop Out of College?
Reasons why students leave college can be diverse
cost of tuition;
inability to balance work and studies;
lack of academic or family support;
unexpected physical or mental health problems;
poor preparedness for academic challenges;
wrong choice of major;
need to support or care for a family member;
lack of discipline or motivation.
Dropping Out Doesn't Mean You'll Never Get a Degree (but it might be harder)
If you have a good reason to drop out of college, it doesn't mean that you'll never get a degree. You can apply for college at any point and continue your studies. The most important thing is to have motivation and clear goals.
Many people even benefit from getting several years off college. They spend this time gaining important life experiences that can serve them in the future. While taking a break, you can travel or join the workforce. Regardless of what you choose to do, it's a perfect time for self-reflection and figuring out your future, whether academic or not.
Yet, young people are encouraged to apply for college right after high school for a reason. At this point, they can still make studies their first priority. In contrast, going back to college after a long break might be difficult. You will probably have a full-time job, family obligations, and some established routines. It might be much harder to include classes in your new schedule. Luckily, you can get academic help and find professional writers who will write my essay for money. It'll eliminate the need to make sacrifices and save you some time for work and social life.
Be Ready to Face Financial Consequences
Think about the financial side of dropping out of college. College is a significant investment. Students either get financial aid or pay by themselves. In fact, many people drop out just because they don't want to take student loans and increase their debt. However, if they quit school, they still have to pay their loans back. Without getting a degree, it's a wasted investment.
Besides, unless you have a winning business idea, your earning potential won't grow like it could with a degree. According to NCES, in 2018, the median earnings of bachelor's degree holders were 57% higher than the earnings of people who completed only high school. The difference in median annual earnings between high school completers and people with some college education but no degree isn't significant, $34,900 and $36,300 respectively. Of course, this is only statistics, not a rule. Yet, you can still see the general pattern.
Absence of a Degree Influences Your Employability
When some occupations don't require a degree, for other professions, it's a must. About 35% of job openings have a bachelor's degree or higher as the main requirement. Usually, these are more high-paying options. Thus, dropping out of college might leave you with limited career options.
There are a lot of jobs where only your skills matter, not a degree. Why would you spend time and effort earning qualifications you don't need? However, you should also take into account that when some entry-level jobs don't require applicants to have a degree, it might be necessary for promotion. Additionally, your career focus might change, which can make the absence of a college degree a limiting factor in your professional growth.
Let's Look at the Positive Side
College isn't for everyone. It's a great opportunity, but there are also a lot of options to lead a successful life without formal education. We're taught to believe that college is the next step we take after finishing school. In reality, there's a world of opportunities that you can take instead of going to college.
Skipping college might be your best decision. It gives you the freedom to follow your dreams and the luxury to do whatever you want. Besides, you won't waste time or money on the major you don't like. Instead, you can redirect this substantial investment of your resources to something you're passionate about.
Don't worry about missing the college experience everyone talks so much about. By joining the workforce, traveling, volunteering, meeting people, and trying new activities, you get valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Dropping out of college is a two-edged sword. This tough choice can bring both positive and negative consequences. You should be sure about your goals and true motivation to take the risk. This decision can't come to you lightly. Question everything: your goals, resources, preferred career path, and value of formal education personally for you. And most importantly, be honest with yourself.