Document Type

Research Report

Original Publication Date


Date of Submission

July 2016


This review of the literature is an analysis of research concerning students who drop out of school. The review will present an overview of the prevalence of the problem, common characteristics of students who are at-risk for dropping out, why students drop out, how students drop out, drop-out prevention programs, and implications of research on future prevention programs.

Approximately five out of every 100 young adults enrolled in high school in 1997 dropped out of school before October 1998 without successfully completing a high school program (National Center for Education Statistics, 1999). Over the past decade, 300 to 500 thousand 10th through 12th grade students dropped out of school. This rate represents the number of students ages 16 through 24 who are out of school without a high school credential (National Center for Education Statistics, 1997). The drop-out rate has essentially remained the same over the past decade (U.S. Department of Education 1977), and “many young people are still short changing their lives”, according to U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley (National Center for Education Statistics, 1997p).

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