We’ve heard of high schoolers dropping out before. Unfortunately, it’s more common than many may think. Kids who live in families that value education are told how important it is over and over. So, how big of a problem is dropping out, how common is it, and what’s the impact?
Over 1.2 million high schoolers drop out a year. When doing the math, that calculates to 7,000 students a day, or a student dropping out every 26 seconds. Ok, that’s bad. What does that really mean, for the US and for the dropouts?
According to the Center for Labor Market Studies, in 2007, male high school dropouts aged 16-24 were 6.3 times more likely to be put behind bars than high school graduates. When comparing high school dropouts likelihood of going to jail to those with a bachelor degree or higher, high school dropouts were 63 times more likely to go to prison. The result is that high school dropouts commit 75% of all crimes in the US.
Dropping out of high school has financial implications on dropouts. High school graduates earn an average of $200,000 more over their lifetimes than high school dropouts! College graduates can earn over $1,000,000 in their lifetimes more than high school dropouts.
Why do kids drop out? According to a study done by Learning Liftoff, 27% dropped out because they were failing classes, 26% dropped out because of boredom, another 26% dropped out to become caregivers, and the final 21% dropped out because school was just not important. Some other common reasons that kids drop out are needing to make money for their families, using drugs, becoming pregnant, or joining gangs.
So to answer the title question of this blog, high schoolers dropping out is a big problem. Kids are dropping out at a horrifically fast rate. They lose more money by not pursuing an education. Dropouts are more likely to commit crimes. If there was ever a reason for high schoolers to graduate, it’s so that they can have financial security as they grow older and become productive members of society.