Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
We want your feedback! Complete our survey and enter to win one of four $25 gift cards.

% of Students Who Complete Degree After Withdrawing

Pianomom12Pianomom12 Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
edited November 2012 in Parents Forum
Would any know of any statistics or rough estimate on the percentage of college students who withdraw from college and return at a later time to actually get their degree?
Post edited by Pianomom12 on

Replies to: % of Students Who Complete Degree After Withdrawing

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,604 Senior Member
    I've always been curious about that, too. In looking at people at my age...of the ones who didn't finish their degrees in their early twenties only two have returned to college and in both cases they went directly into Master's programs (never having completed an undergraduate.) One of those two went on to finish a PhD and is a tenured university professor. A couple friends of my son dropped out after a year or so, but did end up finishing up around age 27 (they went back at age 24 when no longer dependent on the parents for finaid)

    Is this your musician kiddo (at Berklee maybe? although I haven't gone back to see where he ended up?) I'm assuming maybe he wants to start his career? If he's the one in your post about suddenly pulling out of college. If so, it will most likely depend on how his career goes (whether he wants to go back to college) but if he did end up at Berklee he probably has already made some great connections. If need be, a person can finish a degree really at any point in their life or not depending on their career.

    As a mom I think I'd be disappointed if one of mine didn't finish their degree right away, but I'd be OK with it all if they were gainfully employed or at a very minimum working at being an "adult", off on their own, handling things on their own, doing something they wanted to. I have a friend going through that with her son after raising two Ds who went off to highly selective universities. The son is chasing a music dream and is not in college. But he's doing it and does not have one foot in mom and dad's wallet and the other on the stage..he's doing it on his own and I can respect that (as can my friend and her H).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 64,501 Senior Member
    May depend on the reason. Co-op job? Probably high percentage of completion. After poor academic performance? Probably low percentage of completion.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,863 Senior Member
    How long can you follow a student for? I know more than one person who dropped out of college after a couple of years, but returned to school later on and graduated in their mid-40's. Definitely did not finish within 6 years of enrollment, but never were drags on society, and now have new careers related to their degrees, or at least a diploma to hang in the office of the businesses that they run.
  • bajammbajamm Registered User Posts: 1,156 Senior Member
    I don't know how one would findm hard and fast percentages of this. Most of the people that I know that withdrew from college never went back, though certainly some did. My brother in law dropped out after his junior year of college, just to go back 20 years later to finish. He is now a high school special ed teacher and high school coach of various girls teams. He was also athletic director for a year.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    I am the only one in my book group who doesn't have at least a BA.
    We are all Caucasian women ranging in age from 55 ( me), to 67.
    Not a one earned their undergrad in 4 years. Most went two years, took a year or so off, transferred and graduated from another school. A few just kept changing their major.
  • crizellocrizello Registered User Posts: 1,293 Senior Member
    I took 7 years to get my BA. I left school twice to work and earn money. I never had any doubt that I was going to return to college and finish, but there might have been others out there watching me who were getting very concerned that I would not return
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Registered User Posts: 3,501 Senior Member
    I withdrew and went back. It only took me 25 years. I felt a need to sneak in that degree before my kids did.
  • Pianomom12Pianomom12 Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    What wonderful insights -- thanks for sharing.
  • Pianomom12Pianomom12 Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    No, not Berklee (was a major shift in degree). Gainfully employed would be wonderful but that is not the case either. As many of you know, it can be a mess and the sound of the gray hairs shooting from my head at warp speed is deafening.
  • mommafrogmommafrog Registered User Posts: 726 Member
    I started a a conservatory as an oboe major...a lifetime ago. Had my own "yikes" spring of sophomore year, and withdrew. I worked for a year as a proofreader at an insurance agency (partly to get in-state tuition). I did return after one year, this time as an education major. So, entered college fall of '83, graduated with a (different plan) bachelor's Dec, '89, with a non-college year of full-time employment thrown in there. (Also had to pick up some courses for the Ed major that were not required in the narrow B.M. course of study.) Have taught special education since then, picked up my Master's in '02 while teaching full time.

    My transition time caused A LOT of grey hairs to pop out of my mom's head as well.

    Sold the oboe a couple of years ago to finance some of babyfrog's dreams, and because it was not fair for so wonderful an instrument to sit and not be played.

    Music is so all-encompassing that one has to narrow focus down to a pinprick to even consider it as a career. When a musician comes up for air, wondering if this is the right choice, I believe there is some foundering, trying to re-invent a new self, to see if music fits in that definition, and the good old, "NOW WHAT!?!?"

    May your kiddo find the right path.
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 Registered User Posts: 3,886 Senior Member
    Of my 4, 2 S's dropped out/invited out. S2 went back at age 25 and took another 3 years to finish. After several starts and stops S3 at age 26 is now gainfully employed in restaurant management which he loves. They don't care he only had 2 years of college since he is good at what he does. Interestingly, S3 was the only one who had been in gifted programs in elementary school. He never found anything in school that could hold his interest long enough to complete the coursework. He is bright, articulate and a people person. His career suits him. If he decides he needs a degree later I am sure he will do it since it is not ability that stopped him.

    Each finds their own way and sometimes it just takes a little longer. Both of mine had times of minimal or no employment but life became much better when I stopped making their decisions my problems. We just tried to support the quest the best way we could. Best wishes that yours finds his path.
  • Pianomom12Pianomom12 Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    Thank you all. The support and words/insights mean a great deal at a very difficult time. Part of this angst is that I have worked with people over the years -- two very successful businesspeople -- who have all said that their greatest regret was not attending college or not completing college. You can't turn back the hands of time as adulthood "takes hold" and so do the responsibilities of life.

    As adults with years of life experience behind us, we can see the longer-term implications yet many students (simply because they've lived such a short time in the adult world) do not.

    Loved what you said Singersmom07 about the fact that you stopped making their decisions your problems. So well said. The problem becomes when the consequences of those decisions have a direct impact on you/the parent. Then it's like a domino -- hit one and they all fall down.
  • Pianomom12Pianomom12 Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    Thank you barrons -- much appreciated.
  • ExhaustedDadExhaustedDad Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Took me nine years to complete my undergraduate degree. This included: One and a half years of decent work and a B average, one and a half years of partying too much and getting failing grades, two years of not going to school and working in dead-end jobs with 30 and 40 year olds who had no education and no future, and the toughest four years of my life working full time in a decent job while attending night school three evenings a week (again, for four very long years!). I don't recommend this program to my children but I did learn some very valuable life lessons.

    So, for those who have taken the time off for whatever reason, go back to school and get your degree! Otherwise you'll probably end up like one of those 30 or 40 year olds and be part of the "occupy movement".......

    Oh, by the way, I own part of a business now and have enjoyed a very nice income for the more than 30 years since I graduated :) So, it can be done no matter your age!
This discussion has been closed.