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Can you go back to school after dropping out?

February 1st, 2024
Man enjoying his high school graduation day

There are several paths to long-term success, and not all of them lead through the traditional journey of graduating from high school, attending a university, and landing a nine-to-five job. Some individuals choose, or are forced by circumstances, to drop out of high school. The reasons behind this decision are numerous and often layered with complexities. The pressing question remains: Can you go back to school after dropping out?  Yes, after dropping out of high school, you can return to education through options like adult education programs, earning a GED, online diplomas, community college, vocational schools, or military service programs, each offering a unique path to achieve your goals.

Each year, thousands of individuals consider taking the first step towards a brighter, more secure future by returning to school. The exciting news is that not only is going back to school possible, but it is also more manageable and beneficial than you might think.

With student support and flexible learning options, pursuing a high school diploma or even a bachelor’s degree has never been more attainable. Experts from Grad Solutions, a leading resource in education, are dedicated to helping students thrive, fostering an environment that encourages growth, ambition, and success.

Grad Solutions specializes in assisting Arizona residents, primarily those aged 16-21, who have left high school early and are willing to venture back into the world of education. The program is tailored to meet the unique needs of every student, recognizing that everyone’s path to education is different – and that’s perfectly okay.

Common Causes of Dropping Out

There are many valid reasons that students want to or have to drop out of high school. While staying in high school is always the best option, it is not realistic for every person. Acknowledging the root causes of dropout rates can help us make better-informed decisions moving forward. By learning from our past, you can reshape your future choices.

According to the Nation Dropout Prevention Center, common reasons for dropping out of high school range from financial concerns to medical problems, and from the necessity to take care of family members to significant mental health struggles.

Financial Struggles

For some students, financial problems become an insurmountable barrier. These individuals may have to drop out to take on full-time work to support themselves or their families.

Medical Issues

Health problems can be a significant disrupting factor in a student’s school tenure. Extended absences due to illness or health issues often lead to academic struggles and the subsequent need to drop out.

Family Responsibilities

Students who have to look after sick family members or become parents at a young age often find it challenging to juggle school responsibilities with their caregiving duties.

Mental health struggles

Personal difficulties, such as struggling with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or undiagnosed learning disabilities, can lead students to abandon their high school journey.

Recognizing these reasons is the first step towards understanding why you may have left school early – and, more importantly, how you can overcome these challenges when returning to school.

Students studying in a classroom setting

Tailored Student Support: Combatting Academic Hurdles

Grad Solutions pays careful attention to these dropout concerns by providing services tailored towards easing these burdens on students. Our online program is free which allows students to work other jobs and use their time flexibly.

Our no-cost licensed professional counseling services support students’ mental well-being, thus making a return to learning less daunting. Programs like these make Grad Solutions a safety net that cushions students from the very reasons that might have led them to leave school in the first place.

We also offer exceptional student services that assist students with accommodations, modifications, and emotional support. We also provide extensive academic resources like fill-in-the-blank notes for optimal success.

Regardless of why you left, remember that it’s never too late to complete high school and reap the long-term benefits that come with it. You do not have to be a statistic; you have the power to control your own future.

Infographic for Grad Solutions about advantages of getting a high school diploma

Benefits of Going Back to School

After understanding why dropping out can be so common, it is important to realize why going back is paramount. You might be wondering what are the tangible benefits of returning to high school and earning that coveted diploma.

Economic Advantages

Employers in the United States typically favor graduates over those who have not completed high school, making graduates more likely to secure better-paying jobs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the median earnings of those with high school diplomas were 22% higher than those who did not complete high school.

Educational Advancements

A high school diploma opens doors, enabling further education – whether it’s a community college, a bachelor’s degree at a university, or vocational training. Students who earn their diplomas are much more likely to go to college than without this vital achievement under their belts. This secondary education could make the difference between a minimum-wage job and a satisfying career. Student loans are available and Grad Solutions academic advisors can help navigate this for high school graduates looking into college education.

Personal Development

Going back to school isn’t just about academics. It’s also about gaining life skills. High schools teach critical thinking, problem-solving, and social interaction, while often fueling passions and interests. Going back to school can be a stepping stone to personal growth and improvement.

Long-term Life Benefits

According to The National Library of Medicine, life expectancies are about a decade shorter for people who do not have a high school degree compared to those who have completed their college degree. The lessons you learn in high school set you up for a successful life in many different aspects.

Returning to school after dropping out and earning a high school diploma brings respect and opens doors you might have thought were permanently closed. At the heart of these opportunities lies the chance to redefine your life trajectory. Graduation rates and the success that follows are living proof that returning to school is a critical step in climbing the socioeconomic ladder.

Drop Out Recovery: Your Options

If you have already dropped out, there are a few options in regards to furthering your education. You should consider the pros and cons of the GED vs a high school diploma, and what choice is best suited to your future goals. If you decide you would like to get your high school diploma instead of just completing a high school equivalency exam, consider Grad Solutions. We accept previous credits from other high schools so you won’t have to start completely over. We are a fully accredited high school diploma program ready to support you however we can.

If the eligibility requirements of being ages 16-21 and having Arizona residency do not apply to you, our partner program Smart Schools is a great alternative.

Infographic for Grad Solutions about Grad Solutions' offerings

How Grad Solutions Can Help

Grad Solutions can reopen your education opportunities, and demonstrate that achieving one’s high school diploma is within reach.

We understand life’s unpredictable nature and have steps and resources in place to support those who wish to reclaim their education. Here are ways this noteworthy institution is providing second chances to those who had previously identified as high school dropouts.

Education with Grad Solutions is fully accredited and takes place online, making it highly flexible and convenient, especially for adult learners or those holding a full-time job or family responsibilities. The online classes are also self-paced, allowing students to progress at a pace they are comfortable with, which positively impacts their overall engagement and performance. These courses are also overseen by highly qualified instructors, who are available to help support students when needed.

Within this online high school, the students are far from alone. Each student is assigned a personal mentor who is open to supporting them throughout their academic journey. These mentors serve as anchors, providing regular contact, inspiration, motivation, and mentorship to reach an academic goal that once seemed unattainable.

To ensure students have all the help they need academically, Grad Solutions also offers free tutoring services at their HUB locations and online tutoring services for those who prefer remote assistance. Our counselors can help you apply for financial aid and scholarships if you would like to pursue higher education. Grad Solutions works with students to support their post-secondary goals and ensure they are on the pathway to career success after earning their diplomas.

For students with IEP’s and 504 Plans, the Exceptional Student Services (ESS) department provides specialized assistance, offering a range of accommodations, modifications, and social-emotional support.

In short, with Grad Solution’s unparalleled support and resources, students can look to the future with optimism, acknowledging that the first step towards achieving their education goal is indeed within their reach. So, if you, or someone you know, are among the population who once had to leave school due to unforeseen circumstances, remember that it’s not the end of the road. With a flexible schedule, accessible, and fully supportive programs like Grad Solutions, you can still find your way back to the path of education.


National Drop Out Prevention Center “Why Students Drop Out”

National Center for Education Statistics “Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment”

The National Library of Medicine “The Effect of Educational Attainment on Adult Mortality in the United States”

Thrive Global “The Benefits of Going Back to High School as an Adult”

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