Missionaries of the Sacred

Why Students Dropout and Significant Risk Factors PDF Print
Monday, 10 August 2009 10:21
According to the report Dropout Risk Factors and Exemplary Programs, risk factors are grouped in four areas: individual, family, school factors and community factors. The report indicates that there is no single risk factor that accurately predicts dropping out.

The report also discussed “pull” vs. “push” factors. When students leave school due to something in the school environment, they are considered to leave due to push factors. Pull factors are events or circumstances outside of school.

Students report more “push” factors than “pull” factors when asked why they dropped out.  However, in a 2005 survey, 32% of drop outs left school because they had to get a job, 26% became a parent, and 22% left to care for a family member (all pull factors).

Significant Risk Factors for Dropping Out of School
Below are some of the 25 risk factors identified by the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University and Communities In Schools, Inc. (See source)
  • Student has a high number of work hours
  • Student has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • Student’s family has a low socioeconomic status
  • Parents have low levels of education
  • Student does not live with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Student’s family has low contact with school
  • Student’s family has low educational expectations
  • Student is a parent
  • A sibling has dropped out
  • Student has low educational expectations
  • Student does not participate in extracurricular activities
  • Student has been retained/is over-age for grade
  • Student has a high-risk peer group

See all 25 factors at the National Dropout Prevention Center

College Dropout Risk Factors

According to a University of Michigan study, college students with depression are twice as likely to drop out of college than their classmates.

61% of community college students who have children after enrolling don’t finish their education, which is 65% higher than the rate of students who didn’t have children.

College costs are also rising. In 1986-87, the average tuition, fees, room and board (in 2006 dollars) was $18,312, compared to $30,367 in 2006-2007. (For 4-year public schools, the cost is $7,528 and $12,796 respectively.)