Late high school dropouts: Characteristics, experiences, and changes across cohorts. Descriptive analysis report. (NCES 2009-307)
This report presents information about selected characteristics and experiences of high school sophomores in 2002 who subsequently dropped out of school. It also presents comparative data about late high school dropouts in the years 1982, 1992, and 2004. The findings address only dropping out in late high school and do not cover students who dropped out before the spring of 10th grade. For this reason, the reported rates are lower than those based on the students’ entire high school or earlier school career. Key findings include the following:
- Forty-eight percent of all late high school dropouts come from families in the lowest quarter (bottom 25 percent) of the socioeconomic status distribution, and 77 percent of late high school dropouts come from the lowest half of the socioeconomic status distribution.
- Most late high school dropouts (83 percent) listed a school-related (versus a family- or employment-related) reason for leaving. These reasons included missing too many school days, thinking it would be easier to get a GED, getting poor grades, and not liking school.
- The overall late high school dropout rate was lower in 2004 than in 1982 (7 percent versus 11 percent, respectively) and lower in 1992 than in 1982 (6 percent versus 11 percent), but it showed no statistically significant difference in 2004 compared with 1992.