How to Dropout of Community College

No one likes to drop out of college, but it is often the only option. It may be impossible to continue with your lessons due to illness, family troubles, financial difficulties, or other setbacks. When it comes to dropping out of college, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Don't just quit coming to class and handing in your homework. A disappearing act's long-term implications could haunt you for years. Instead, follow this tried-and-true advice.

Key Takeaways

No one likes to drop out of college, but it is often the only option. It may be impossible to continue with your lessons due to illness, family troubles, financial difficulties, or other setbacks. When it comes to dropping out of college, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Don't just quit coming to class and handing in your homework. A disappearing act's long-term implications could haunt you for years. Instead, follow this tried-and-true advice.

Let's face it, not everyone is cut out for college. There are a few things to consider when putting your education on hold, whether you're caring for a sick family member, can't afford the high tuition, or simply have other plans. 

It'll be critical to end your enrollment using the correct channels, have a practical backup plan in place, and, most importantly, be sure you're doing what's best for you. You can make a clean break and boost your chances of future success with just a little forethought.

In this guide, we will take you through the proper way to drop out of college in a way that does not impact your future negatively and more importantly, what you can do after college to build a career without a college degree.

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How to drop out of a college

Are you considering dropping out of school? If that's the case, you're not alone. Across the United States, millions of students drop out of college without completing their studies, and many of them go on to live happy and productive lives. 

Related: Is College a Waste of Money?

After all, college isn't the sole way to a rewarding career. There are numerous ways to achieve success. Dropping out of college may be the best option for many kids. However, it is a decision that must be carefully considered. 

It's critical to consider your long-term objectives and how you may attain them outside of the academic setting. While there are many satisfying occupations that don't require a degree, some must.

So, if you're going for one of those but need to take a break from college for a bit, make sure you'll be able to resume your studies later. You owe it to yourself to learn all relevant facts so that you can proceed in a manner that you will not regret.

Student stressed in a clssroom
Photo by Andy Barbour from Pexels

Is it ok to drop out of college?

Students choose to quit college for a variety of reasons. Dropping out is sometimes a conscious decision, and other times it is a result of circumstances. Even if a student never considered how to drop out of high school, he or she may find themselves in a scenario in college where dropping out appears to be the only option.

More often than not, it's a financial issue that compels students. Many students need to work, but their occupations conflict with their studies. Others discover that their college education is simply too expensive. 

In a poll of young individuals, 54 percent indicated one of the main reasons they dropped out was because they couldn't afford not to work full-time, while 31 percent mentioned exorbitant tuition and fees as a major motivator.

Even if tuition and books were free, more than half of those who dropped out indicated the necessity to work full-time would prevent them from returning to school.

Some other reasons that may influence a student's decision to leave college include:

  • A medical emergency or protracted problem at home that requires all your attention
  • You are simply not prepared for college-level work and find it overwhelming
  • Having to take classes that don't appear to be beneficial
  • You believe a college diploma is not required to meet your career objectives
  • Family issues that either prevent you or distract you too much to focus on education
  • Believing that a college diploma isn't required to attain their professional objectives

Related: Best Alternatives to Traditional College

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Dropping Out of College

While college may not be the ideal option for every kid, leaving should not be handled lightly. Everyone's scenario is unique, so it's critical to consider all of the options. The following are some of the primary benefits and drawbacks of dropping out of college…

Benefits of dropping out

Start earning full-time right away

Rather than piling up debt, you could make money. Higher education can be costly, depending on where you attend and how much financial aid you receive in the form of grants or scholarships. 

According to research, the average college graduate has about $30,000 in student loan debt when they graduate. Dropping out allows you to avoid many of these fees while pursuing a full-time job. 

Take time off to explore what you are truly passionate about

Many kids jump from high school to college without knowing what they want to do with their lives. Leaving college could allow you to travel, volunteer, establish a business, or explore other training opportunities, assuming you have some means of support. 

College isn't for everyone, and students who stick it through in a program they don't like may feel more lost than those who take a break to figure out what they really want.

Explore alternate educational options

There was a time when a 4-year degree from a college was the only option students had. Now, if you feel that this is too much of a commitment, for whatever personal reasons you have, you have many other alternatives.

For example, a community college can get you an Associate’s degree in two years only. Or it can certify you for a skill for as little as 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the skill.

Alternatively, you can now even study online!

Find College Boring? Here’s How to Make It Exciting

Disadvantages of dropping out

Life without recognized credentials is tougher

In certain career paths, this is a deal-breaker, so think about your field of interest. For example, without proper qualifications, you can't be a nurse or a lawyer. However, as many skilled workers and techies can confirm, not all job objectives necessitate a college diploma.

If you don't have a degree, you'll need to find other ways to show a potential employer your knowledge and skills: Certifications, practical experience, and recommendations from previous employers become far more significant.

Leaving college doesn’t absolve you have your loan

How to dropout of college with financial aid? You'll have to start paying back your debts. When you drop out of college, the grace period on your student loans begins immediately. That usually implies you'll have six months before a lump sum of money is deducted from your account on a monthly basis. 

If you drop out, you may be compelled to repay some or all of the scholarship money or federal student aid you received, so be sure you read the fine print.

You'll have to justify your choice

It can be difficult to inform your parents or loved ones that you are planning to drop out of college. It's critical to be upfront and honest about your reasons for leaving, as well as what you intend to do instead. 

You must show that you've considered all of the implications and are ready to move on to the next stage of your life. After all, dropping out of college is a significant decision, be ready to discuss the factors that influenced your decision.

Our step by step guide to dropping out of college

You've considered your options, assessed the benefits and drawbacks, and come to the conclusion that dropping out of college is the best decision you can make. However, once you've decided, you may worry, "How can I drop out of college?" 

Unmudl Tip: Don't just quit attending classes or submitting assignments. This will create major problems for you in the future.

Follow our step by step guide to dropping out of college:

1. Talk to your teachers

Before you make a final decision to drop out talk to your teachers. Professors may be able to cut you some slack and allow you to have an extension on your work rather than dropping out, depending on your condition. 

Many institutions allow teachers to negotiate a contract with students that allows them to finish late assignments for up to a year. This may allow you ample time to deal with external difficulties while still staying on schedule.

Related: Find College Boring? Here’s How to Make It Exciting

2. Consult with a student counselor

If you are unable to obtain an extension from your professors, college counselors can assist you in completing the formalities necessary to withdraw from the university. Make sure to inquire about any tuition or fees you've already paid. 

Will you get reimbursed the entire money or only a portion of it? If you leave university, would you be expected to repay any financial aid or scholarships you received? Try to find out if the college is willing to help in any way for whatever difficulty you are facing before you drop out.

3. Take care of your transcripts

If you ever wish to return to college, a long streak of Fs will make it difficult, especially if the college places you on academic probation. If you're unable to complete your homework due to exceptional circumstances like illness or difficulty, speak with your professors about the possibility of receiving an incomplete. 

When you have an incomplete, you will usually be granted a set length of time to complete the course. If you finish all prerequisites before the deadline, the incomplete will be deleted from your record, and you will earn a mark as if you had never taken a break.

4. Aim for a "W" if that doesn't work

If you can't get away with a spotless record, at the very least aim to acquire a line of Ws in place of failing marks on your transcript. The letter "W" stands for "withdrawn." While a high number of Ws may suggest a student's unreliability, they usually have little bearing on your GPA.

It won't be pretty on your transcript, but it'll be better than getting placed on academic probation or having trouble re-enrolling in college.

Related: What Happens If You Fail a Class in Community College?

5. Inquire about a leave of absence or a deferment 

If you think that you might return to college later don’t burn your bridges. Many colleges offer a program that allows students to leave for up to a year and then return without having to reapply. There are programs established expressly for those in difficult situations.

There are sometimes even options for students who do not have any extenuating circumstances. That means that if you wish to drop out for a year to spend at the beach, you might be able to resume school a year later without penalty.

What to do after dropping out of college: Get certification for a trade

Short courses that lead to certification can kick-start your career in as little as 6 weeks to 6 months. Trade schools, vocational institutions, and even community colleges provide these courses.

These courses are designed to give you in-depth knowledge of the skills you'll need for specific occupations or trades, without burdening you with irrelevant courses and electives. For example, to become a food stylist, you may enroll in a culinary school or a vocational education culinary program.

Other certification options include mechanics, medical, dental, welding, firefighting, law enforcement, animal care, and technology.

Related: Best Alternatives to Traditional College

Final Thoughts

College is not the best option for many students in the United States. Students look for alternatives to education for a variety of reasons, including time commitment, personal interests, and cost.

These alternatives, such as an associate’s degree or a quick skill certification enable you to get a head start on your career by allowing you to make money right away or within a few months of completing a short certification course. 

We hope that this guide helped you navigate the difficult decision to drop out of college. We wish you the best of luck with your future!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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