Although finishing high school is a task typically expected of American students, the reality is that some situations may get in the way. Despite the fact that 82.3% of Florida students graduated high school during the 2016-2017 school year, that still leaves a substantial portion of students who won’t receive their diplomas. Fortunately, there are alternative programs for high school dropouts who wish to complete their education and reach their goals. But just how do these programs help?

Dropping Out: The Big Picture

According to a research analysis published in 2010, only 66% to 70% of public high school students nationwide were able to receive their diplomas “on time” (i.e., at the same time as others in their original ninth grade classes). The U.S. Census Bureau also reported that “nearly one-third of students in the United States… who enter ninth grade do not graduate with a diploma in four years.” Other national studies have found that anywhere from 3.5 million to 6 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 have dropped out of high school, have no diploma, and have not re-enrolled in high school. These more recent reports have remained consistent with graduation rates from the early 1980s, which suggests that more action needs to be taken in order to ensure American students don’t slip through the cracks in the educational system.

The Impact of Dropping Out

Research has found that having to go through life without a high school diploma can have severe impacts on an individual’s financial situation. Prior data shows that a high school dropout may stand to lose approximately $270,000 in lifetime earnings, as compared to the average individual who graduates high school. Not only do those who leave high school cut their lifetime earnings short, but these individuals will also be unable to contribute to their communities and the public trust due to lower earnings and lower tax contributions. In addition, many high school dropouts are more likely to be dependent on public services or may have a greater likelihood of being involved in criminal behavior, both of which attribute to societal costs. While this does not definitively mean that every person who drops out of high school will engage in criminal acts or utilize public services, higher dropout rates can certainly contribute to greater financial burdens in the community and in the country in general.

How Do High School Alternatives Help?

There are alternative programs for high school dropouts that can alleviate these negative impacts. Ultimately, not every student benefits from the traditional high school education model. Dropout recovery programs are alternative high school options that can allow former students who left high school without their diplomas to re-involve themselves in a formal educational atmosphere and graduate from high school. Not only do alternative programs for high school dropouts make it more likely for students to graduate and obtain their diplomas, but they also provide the confidence, structure, and individualized learning that students need to navigate the real world.

Our public charter is a tuition-free program that aims to lower dropout rates and help those students who have already left their former high school setting. By offering an accelerated, more personalized curriculum, our unique setting makes it possible for students to reach goals they may have considered to be impossible. For more information on our program and how it can help you or someone you love, please contact us today.

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