Many students who experience extended school absences or dropout episodes reengage with school and complete a diploma or alternative credential within 4 years of beginning ninth grade. However, these students have not been extensively studied, and the factors that affect reengagement decisions are not well understood. Using an educational resilience framework and the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, we investigate the factors that predict returning to high school after a dropout episode as well as specific types of return pathways. We find factors related to academic effort, including attendance and ninth-grade GPA, to be the most strongly associated with returning to school after dropout episodes. We find that students who expect to finish school tend to do so, even after a dropout episode. Other aspects of educational resilience, including personal attributes and environmental factors, did not contribute to explaining dropouts' return to school.
Stopping out versus dropping out
The role of educational resilience in explaining on-time completion of high school