That break from college? Stopping out leads to dropping out

Kylie Lacey's picture

Plenty of college students - including the vast majority of those in community college - take at least one break from their studies. But "stopping out" more than once could be the kiss of death to educational ambitions, particularly if they want to get a four-year degree.

A study of 38,000 community college students in Texas found that 94 percent had at least one "period of non-enrollment." More than 20,000 eventually returned to school and 30 percent of those went on to earn bachelor's degrees, according to study author Toby J. Park, assistant professor of economics of education and education policy at Florida State University.

Fewer than 5 percent of those who dropped out two or more times, however, succeeded in getting a four-year degree.

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