5 Tips to Avoid Becoming A College Dropout

Last Updated on January 12, 2019

Sad African-American female student considers becoming a college dropout.

About 20 million Americans attend college each year and 60% of that number gets into college debts in order to pay for their tuition fees and other costs. In 2012, 7 in 10 college seniors graduated from college with a debt average of $29,400 according to a study done by The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a nonprofit organization that collects data on student debts all over the country. However, it becomes even more alarming to know that many of those who borrowed money became a college dropout while some remain unemployed and unable to pay their loans.

Only half of the college students who enter a baccalaureate program finish their degrees. A good number of students all over the country drop out of their courses for one reason or another. The most common reasons why a student may drop out of college are financial concerns, lack of motivation, stress over coursework, and time conflicts, especially if the student is also raising a family or working part-time.

If you feel that the demands of college life are too much to handle and you are considering dropping out of college, consider the reasons why you feel this way. Perhaps you need to talk to a guidance counselor in order for you to handle your situation and consider other options.

Consider these steps before you start thinking of giving up your college education:

Plan Ahead

Many college students are unable to complete their degrees because of poor planning. You need to consider your resources, your strengths as well as your weaknesses when you plan for your college life. Are you in the right path toward earning a college degree? Are you taking a course that fits your interests? You can allocate your time, money and energy better if you have short term and long term goals. You need to focus on what you really want to achieve while in college.

Avoid Unnecessary Debt

There are other ways to finance your college education other than getting into debts and private loans. Most private student loans have very high-interest rates, and concerns over debt may cause you stress and anxiety. Consider grants such as Pell Grants and other federal funding aid programs. Ask your school for information regarding grants, scholarships and other financial aids that can help you finance your education.

Ask for Academic Help

When your studies become very demanding, check what resources your school offers. There may be some tutorial services in campus or resources online that can help you academically. Get involved in study groups or online networks that provide study aids.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Whether college is a full-time or part-time activity for you, you need to manage your time wisely. Plan your activities ahead not just for school but in other areas of your life. Consider letting go of some tasks that take much of your time but do not really contribute to your goals. If you are working part-time, arrange your work schedule so as to have enough time for your studies.


Create your own network of friends who can support and motivate you when college life becomes too much. Do not isolate yourself. However, do not let too much of a social life interfere with your studies, either.

College life can be very difficult and challenging and it takes a great deal of persistence, good study skills and discipline in order to complete a college degree. Avoid becoming another college dropout with too much student debts to pay. Remember the benefits that you will get after earning a degree, such as that sense of achievement, high self-esteem and better chances of a successful career.

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