College Dropout Rates

Document Type

Issue/Research Brief/Blog

Publication Date



life event barriers, financial education, education


Students without an education may find it extremely difficult to make a living, support their families, and remain above the poverty level without a college education in the United States. Stories about college dropouts such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs are inspiring, but the reality is that for most students, dropping out of college can mean signing up for $25,000 less per year in income than those who graduate. It can mean a higher chance of becoming unemployed and fewer opportunities for jobs. Most students enroll in college because they want to increase their earning potential. Dropping out can not only decrease that potential but leave some students in an even worse position than before they enrolled.