College Dropouts And Student Loans: Strategies For Managing Unfinished Degrees – Evan Thompson is an education and career writer with the best schools. He was previously a journalist with columns in The Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune and Everett Herald. His pace included education, sports, business, foreign affairs and life…

While it is inspiring to hear about college dropouts like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, these stories do not reflect reality. Dropping out of college can cripple your career prospects.

College Dropouts And Student Loans: Strategies For Managing Unfinished Degrees

College Dropouts And Student Loans: Strategies For Managing Unfinished Degrees

Adults without a college degree earn about $30,000 less per year than college graduates. In 2018, the unemployment rate for high school graduates who dropped out of college was 18.6%.

The Overhyped College Dropout ‘scandal’ — The James G. Martin Center For Academic Renewal

Many students enroll in college to get higher paying jobs. Dropout can make it difficult to achieve. Students who have student loan debt may even leave worse off than before they enrolled.

But college is not for everyone. According to, about 4 out of 10 students in the United States do not graduate, and nearly a third of first-year students drop out before their second year.

Dropping out may be the right choice for you, especially if you are struggling financially, academically or socially, or dealing with other issues. But there are some questions you need to ask yourself first.

We’ve sorted some of the most important questions into five broad categories—general, financial, social, academic, and personal—to help you consider all your options.

Response Counts Among Students With Intention To Drop Out And To Stay.

College may not feel like the right fit for you, but it’s important to understand why. Before you leave, ask yourself these big questions to get to the root of what you’re eating.

Financial stress is one of the most common reasons students choose to drop out of university. If you’re feeling stressed about the price of tuition, student debt, monthly expenses, or other financial issues, ask yourself these questions.

“Many students may not receive appropriate financial advice from their school and may not be aware of possible financial resources.”

College Dropouts And Student Loans: Strategies For Managing Unfinished Degrees

Social life can be chaotic or challenging in college. Ask yourself these questions if you struggle with social isolation, dorm life, or other social issues.

The Daily Tar Heel

“Sometimes students want to make friends with the people around them, … [but] they don’t realize that they have to make an effort to find people who share similar interests.”

The rigor of college studies can be overwhelming for some students. Others may feel unsure about their degree, career path, or school. If academics are stressing you out and making you want to drop out of college, ask yourself these questions.

“Most colleges offer support for students, from free tutoring to writing centers, and most professors have office hours where you can get specific help.”

Students may face many personal issues during college. Here are some questions to ask if you have family problems, relationship difficulties, mental health struggles, or other personal issues.

Can I Go Back To College If I Dropped Out?

“Some people feel they need a break or a year off from school to figure out what they really want to do with their lives. College can be stressful, especially when students are trying to balance academics, extracurriculars, relationships, and other commitments.”

Evan Thompson is a Washington writer for TBS covering higher education. He has headlines in the Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune, Everett Herald and others from his former life as a newspaper reporter. About a third of students drop out, and may be left facing expensive student loan debt even without a degree. show it Here’s how you can pay off your college debt without a degree. (iStock)

Student loans should be an investment in your future earning potential, as a high school diploma can give you access to higher paying jobs and better employment opportunities. But about 1 in 3 students do not graduate within six years of enrolling, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

College Dropouts And Student Loans: Strategies For Managing Unfinished Degrees

As a result, most college dropouts who took out federal or private student loans are saddled with debt and have no degree to prove it.

Student Loan Debt, With Little To Show For It

Student loan borrowers who have not graduated are also much more likely to default on their loans than college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the NCES. Almost half (45%) of student loan lenders without a degree terminated their loans at some point within 12 years of starting their high school studies, compared to 8% of graduates with at least a bachelor’s degree.

Getting rid of expensive college debt can seem like an impossible task when you’re limited by your earning potential. Even staying out of default is a challenge for many student loan borrowers. But with student loan refinancing rates at record lows, it may be possible to pay off your student loan debt once and for all.

Read on to learn how to get rid of college debt without a degree. If you decide to refinance, visit Redible to compare rates between multiple private lenders at once without affecting your credit score.

Simply put, there is no student loan repayment policy when you drop out. Some universities have prorated tuition reimbursement policies based on your withdrawal date, but for the millions of student loan borrowers who simply didn’t graduate, college debt is an expensive burden with no financial reward.

Pdf) Theoretical Framework In Student Debt Research: Linking Economic, Finance And Education Theories To Student Debt Literature

Depending on the type of loans you have, you may be able to apply for help. Federal student loan borrowers can apply for financial forbearance, unemployment deferment or loan rehabilitation. However, even if you file bankruptcy, you still owe your federal student loan debt.

Private student loans are sometimes discharged in bankruptcy, but they don’t come with federal regulations and protections. College dropouts with private loans can consider refinancing to a lower interest rate in order to pay off their college debt faster or lower their monthly payments.

Be careful if you are repaying federal loans, as doing so makes you ineligible for federal student aid programs such as deferment and forbearance. But if you’re struggling with unpaid private student loan debt, you have nothing to lose by refinancing, as long as you can secure a lower interest rate on your new repayment plan.

College Dropouts And Student Loans: Strategies For Managing Unfinished Degrees

See examples of real student loan financing rates in the table below. Then, check your eligibility and estimated rate on Credible to see if refinancing is right for you.

When Do Student Loan Payments Start If You Take A Year Off?

Student loan payments can put a strain on your finances, especially if you’re unable to increase your salary without a high school diploma. Fortunately, it may be possible to pay off your student loans faster by refinancing.

Borrowers who refinanced into a shorter-term loan with Credible were able to shave 3.5 years off their loan repayments and even save nearly $17,000 in interest fees, partly due to lower interest rates. While this type of refinancing can save you money in the long run, it may slightly increase your monthly payment.

Keep in mind that refinancing your federal loans makes you ineligible for federal aid, including forbearance and student loan forgiveness. But private loans don’t have the same financial assistance programs, so it’s a safe bet if you can refinance to a lower interest rate.

Use Credible’s student loan refinancing calculator to determine your new repayment range so you can decide if refinancing is right for you.

The Long Road To The Student Debt Crisis

Defaulting on your student loans can be stressful and expensive. Interest charges and fees can accumulate over time when you don’t make payments, and defaulting on your loans can negatively affect your credit score. Additionally, if your college debt is sent to a collection agency, you may be at risk of being sued and having your wages or tax refund garnished.

One way to keep your student loan debt out of default is to lower your monthly payments by refinancing. Private student loan refinancing can save you $250 or more on your monthly payment if you choose a longer-term loan, which can help you stay out of default.

With student loan refinancing rates hovering near historic lows, you may be able to save more money than ever by securing a lower interest rate on your college debt. Contact a student loan specialist at Credible who can help you decide if refinancing is right for you.

College Dropouts And Student Loans: Strategies For Managing Unfinished Degrees

Do you have a question related to finances, but don’t know who to ask? Email Credible Money Expert at and your question may be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column. Higher education is a path to greater financial security and prosperity. The pandemic-induced recession illustrates how Georgians without degrees are most vulnerable During an economic downturn, when unemployment rates for people with only a high school education—37 percent of Georgian adults—are consistently double those with college degrees.[1]

What Universities Can Do To Keep Students From Dropping Out

[2] Many jobs lost during a recession do not return, and almost all new jobs created during an economic recovery require some level of postsecondary education.[3]

But students seeking bachelor’s or associate’s degrees or other postsecondary credentials often face financial barriers, including high costs that lead to student debt. The growing student debts indicate the transfer of risk and responsibility for paying for higher education to individuals from the public, however the burden of excessive student debts spreads from individuals to the economy.

Viewing higher education as a private investment rather than a shared responsibility amplifies the financial risk in an economy where post-secondary education is increasingly present.

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