Our Blog

7 Reasons Why Students Return After Dropping Out of High School

March 12, 2024 | Tracie Hummel

7 Reasons Why Students Return After Dropping Out of High School image

There’s lots of emphasis on understanding the reasons why young people drop out of high school. At Acceleration Academies, we’ve met thousands of young adults who have faced a diverse set of challenges on their path to high school graduation. 


Some Obstacles Acceleration Academies Students Have Overcome: 



In spite of the challenges they have faced, the students we’ve met have one thing in common: they persevered and came out ahead by prioritizing their high school education, even when it was hard. 

We know that students call it quits for a multitude of reasons, but, what does it take for a young person to return to high school after dropping out. Many students regret their decision after a while or wonder how they can finish their high school education if they’ve dropped out. What gives these students the push to go back? And, more importantly, what do these students need in order to be successful when re-entering high school? 


The Top 7 reasons to return to school after dropping out: 

No. 1: Encouragement from a friend, family member or mentor

Sometimes, all it takes is a little push. When students feel defeated or unmotivated, the power of words is strong. When an important person in their life reminds them of their potential and what’s at stake, it can click for the young person and push them to return to their studies.

>> Meet Bryanna, whose older brother urged her to return to school


No. 2: More time in their daily schedule

One of the main reasons why students drop out of high school is a lack of time. Maybe they need to work in order to support their families or have other scheduling challenges that are incompatible with the traditional school day. When these circumstances change, students are often ready to go back to school. 

>> Meet Talea who made up for lost time when she returned to school


No. 3: New school option that allows flexibility

Similarly, students with scheduling challenges may thrive when presented with a new opportunity that prioritizes flexibility. Programs like Acceleration Academies offer an alternative approach to high school that centers around flexibility and support. Instead of spending 7 or more hours a day in a classroom, students can set their own schedules and work on-campus or anywhere with an Internet connection. In these settings, many students who were not successful in a traditional school thrive

>> Meet Michael who needed a flexible schedule in order to help his family


No. 4: Family support

Studies show that students with family support are more successful and it isn’t limited to academic performance. According to Youth.gov, “Family engagement in schools contributes to positive student outcomes, including student achievement, decreased disciplinary issues, improved parent-teacher and student-teacher relationships and improved school environment.” 

>> Meet Daniela, whose mom pushed her to try something new


No. 5: Improved School Climate 

One of the biggest reasons we hear for students disengaging from their high school comes down to a negative school environment. Bullying, racism and violence are sad realities at some high schools. Other students find busy hallways and crowded classrooms anxiety-provoking. When young people are able to return to a school that is welcoming and inclusive, their confidence and self-esteem soar.

>> Meet Ellerie who needed a calmer environment 


No. 6: Renewed motivation 

Many students who drop out of high school get a glimpse of how their future may look without a diploma. This reality check can give these young adults a renewed motivation to pursue their education. Even better, they often return to high school with laser focus and clarity on what they want for their lives.

>> Meet Diago who returned to school after realizing he wanted more for his life


No. 7: Alternative Academic Approach 

Struggling with academics is one of the main reasons why high school students drop out. Not every student can juggle multiple courses or sit in a classroom for hours at a time; some students need a different approach depending on their learning style. When students are offered an alternative approach to academics, they often thrive. 



The journey of returning to high school after dropping out is a complex one, often shaped by a variety of factors. Despite the challenges faced, young people exhibit remarkable resilience and determination in their pursuit of a high school education. Encouragement from supportive figures, newfound flexibility in scheduling and access to alternative academic approaches are pivotal in empowering these students to reclaim their educational paths.

If you’re a student who has dropped out of high school and asking yourself 'should I go back to school,' Acceleration Academies offers an alternative approach to high school that has worked for thousands of students like you.


« Back to Blog

In the News

View all news