College student

Dropping Out as a Crisis and an Opportunity

If the course ends before graduation …

Persevere or change course early and reorient yourself? How to sell the change in life planning to future employers – or to the family? If you are seriously considering dropping out of your studies, many questions haunt your head. No wonder, because the decision that has to be made is one of the most difficult of all. Study advisor helps you not to lose track of all the doubts – and also to find a few answers.

Studying to the bitter end?

No money, a lack of desire or simply no more chance – there can be many acceptable reasons to leave the university before the exam that you would not have thought at the time when you were preparing for UCAT practice tests, click here to attempt UCAT practice test once again. 

The majority of students reach the point in the course of their university life at which dropping out is seriously an issue. Many dropouts then react to a particularly interesting job advertisement, go into business for themselves or switch to classic vocational training. At the same time, however, students repeatedly reach their personal performance limits and are forced to look for alternatives.

But although such setbacks hurt, the situation for dropouts is nowhere near as dire as it often looks from an internal perspective. Even dropouts have opportunities in their job!

Dropping out of studies – there is a life afterwards!

The horror scenario: the parents clap their hands over their heads and quickly have the calculator at hand to demonstrate what it all cost.

The guilty conscience and the worries about the future shift alternately night shifts and keep the tortured dropout from sleeping with regular visits.

Good to know that in most cases it doesn’t turn out that bad. Relatives usually react better than expected and the end of their professional career is no longer dropping out of their studies. Of course, it is always good to finish your studies successfully. But at least college dropouts are in promising companies: Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, company founder Dell, Hewlett Packard, and many other well-known personalities have dropped out of their studies.

Possible reasons for dropping out:

  • The subject turns out differently than presented.
  • The decision for this subject was just rash and thoughtless.
  • The interests have changed.
  • Private reasons force you to quit.
  • The demands that are made are too high.
  • De-registration due to failed exams.
  • And many more.

Dropout as a mass phenomenon

But not only that: numerically, the dropouts also have good arguments on their side. If more than 25% of students in the USA are still fleeing from university without a degree, it cannot just be down to each individual.

The motives of this large group are very mixed: According to a study by MedicMind from 2020, the main reasons for dropping out are financial bottlenecks, change in professional interests, personal problems, lack of academic performance or simply a lack of motivation.

Aborted studies – what now?

Your decision – even if it may have been taken away from you by de-registering – was exactly the right one. You have pulled yourself up to revise the path you took first. All due respect for your courageous decision!

Now you can calmly think about what you want to do instead.

What can I do after dropping out?

Whether you are still entitled to further support after dropping out of your studies, and if so, for how long and to what extent, depends on several factors:

In any case, you should first report to the competent authority and describe your “case”. In principle, it is possible to receive ongoing payments for the subsequent course. However, the grants for the first degree will be offset against the new degree. However, after the standard period of study, half the loan is converted into a full loan. It is also irrelevant whether or not you received your first degree – the period of study is still counted towards it. You must be able to plausibly explain your reasons for dropping out and the new course you are aiming for:

Recognized reasons are for example:

A change of denomination

The subject is too demanding

A change in worldview

Reasons that are not recognized:

  • Financial difficulties
  • Forced deregistration after the 4th semester

Anyone who does not want to start another degree until after the 4th semester must be able to provide valid reasons, such as:

  • A newly developed illness (certificate)
  • A change of denomination

A second or further grant must be applied for in writing in any case.

Drop out and still have a career!

University dropouts do not lead directly to a professional dead end, because: Those who can convincingly make it clear that dropping out was not a frivolous decision, but a carefully considered course correction, have good chances on the job market. As is so often the case in life, the reason for the decision is more important than the decision itself!

The perception of family obligations and other coincidences of fate are always recognized reasons for a course correction. But poor academic achievements are also a legitimate reason if they are interpreted correctly: Many courses are difficult theoretical and have little practical relevance. The question quickly arises why you should do this to yourself.

It is important that your arguments are conclusive and that it is clear that the termination of your studies is well thought out. In this way, you document your willingness to make decisions, paired with a sense of responsibility and foresight – character traits that are well received by HR managers.

Studying is difficult …

But even if you simply did not achieve the desired degree in terms of performance, you do not need to hide. Every graduate knows how difficult a degree can be – if in doubt, the HR worker too. For him, it is primarily about whether you can deal with failure positively and actively. The following applies here: Know and understand where you may have made mistakes, but do not come across as contrite, but keep planning in a tidy and future-oriented manner. With this you prove that you can hold your own even in difficult situations.

The situation of dropouts is improving

The situation of university dropouts has also generally improved in recent years. Because of the shortage of academics, employers compete for well-trained workers. Even a college dropout with a high school diploma has a good hand here.

The state has also reacted to the situation on the labor market. The employment offices have recently added a number of further training courses specifically aimed at ex-students. After dropping out, there are many opportunities to develop your own qualifications through constant, supported further training.

An alternative can be the beginning of an apprenticeship! Graduates are welcome in the skilled trades and have good prospects.

Also see: How to maximize the output of your study time

Decision support

If you are dissatisfied with your studies, you should first look for the causes. Because the decision is important and the situation for potential college dropouts is complex, here is a small checklist to help you decide:

  • Maybe it’s the subject you are studying? Then an intensive examination of your own inclinations is appropriate. Anyone who successfully studies after a change of subject has hardly any problems to represent it afterwards.
  • Have you already made up your mind? Are you sure that your dream course is a completely different one, but there is no place available at the moment? Then you can still enroll at the university and take a so-called park study. You can take advantage of some of the student benefits, but you also need to be aware of the disadvantages.
  • Are the conditions of the current university to blame? Is there a lack of practical relevance? In these cases, it is advisable to change universities. For more practice, a university of applied sciences is probably the better study environment. A direct career start may also be the right path. About Internships and trainee programs entry does not finish easier.
  • In any case, one thing is clear: if you are about to graduate, you should think twice about the steps. In this phase in particular, students often doubt their abilities. Sometimes it can help to relieve yourself a little of the pressure by straightening out the exam dates. And anyway: the final exams have always managed a completely different caliber!
  • Advice is the be-all and end-all of such an important decision. Most universities and employment offices have now set up so-called career centers that specialize in such topics. However, student counseling can help. The standard of these services is for the most part pleasantly high and the advisors are often well informed.
  • Regardless of the professional advice, you should always speak to your private environment about the decision. Often, outsiders come up with arguments that one would never have come up with. Take the opportunity to fight any thought chaos with a pros and cons list. So you can keep a clear head.