If you dropped out of high school or college and now you’re thinking about going back to school after dropping out, this page will help you understand what your options are so that you can get things back on track and set yourself up for the life you deserve.

It’s more than just getting a piece of paper that says you did it, it’s about the sense of pride and accomplishment of getting bucked off the horse, but then giving yourself the opportunity to climb back on.

Returning to High School after Dropping Out

Every situation can be a little bit different. Your reasons for dropping out, your reasons for returning, your schedule and when you have the time to do it… but rest assured, there is a plan that can work for you. You can do this.

Question: Can you go back to high school after dropping out?

If you’ve dropped out of high school, going back will really depend on your age. If you’re over 18, you’ll probably have to look into a GED program instead, but if you’ve stopped going to high school and you’re ready to return, and you’re still under 18, your best option is to go talk to your school. They’ll be familiar with the exact process that it will take you get you enrolled again, or they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Reach out to your previous high school and ask them, can you go back to high school after dropping out? They’ll let you know the process. If you’ve moved, or don’t want to return to the same school, reach out to your local board of education.

There are numerous adult education options for grown-ups who want to go back and get their high school or GED because they are tired of looking for jobs for highschool dropouts, it’s a great idea if you’re able to do it. These programs are often setup in a way that is sympathetic to the adult learners who had trouble in high school, so this time around will likely be a lot more flexible, easier for you to accomplish, and they’ll feel a little more understanding and less authoritarian, which is what turns some kids off from high school in the first place.

Going Back to College After Dropping Out

If you were enrolled in college and you didn’t complete your courses to earn enough credits to graduate, there’s still hope. Many colleges and community colleges will give you years to return, and will still count the previous credits you had earned towards the totals you need for your degree or certificate.

If you’re taking a specialized career course, any modules you have completed should still count towards your total so you won’t have to start over from scratch – but make sure you talk about this with the advisors at your college, or the admissions department, to get a clear picture of where you’re at and to get some help formulating a strategy for moving forward.

The same goes for University credits, these programs are often designed so you can cherry-pick the courses you need to take to earn the necessary credits as you go. If you take a year off, everything should be waiting for you when you return, and you can pick up where you left off. There could be exceptions to this, so once again, double check with your University.

Going Back to School After Dropping Out is VERY Possible!

Going Back to School After Dropping Out

The exact rules and regulations can vary from State to State, Country to Country, and even school to school. High schools, colleges, and universities will have all their own ways of handling students that want to return – but they want you back – remember that! They want you to be able to get back in there, to earn your credits, diploma, or degree. That’s a success story for them, and for you. If you get the impression that they’re trying to make things difficult for you, it’s important to ask yourself if that’s valid, or if you’re just attributing malice to them when all they’re doing is following their normal procedures. People who drop out, sometimes, have a strained relationship with authority but it’s important to just get in there, take care of business, then carry with your life. Pick your battles. You may have a teacher who is making things a little harder on you, or that you just clash with, but it’s not worth risking your future over. Sometimes, it’s worth it to just bite your tongue and do the work like everyone else so you can get past this. Of course, if you’re genuinely being unfairly targeted by teachers or administrators, there are steps that you can take to address this, we’re not saying you should be a doormat and let everyone walk over you.

Generally speaking, taking a year off won’t set you any further back than that one year, but sometimes it’s necessary to work, to save up, or if you have an opportunity to follow a passion, or to travel, etc. There’s no shame in taking some time off from school, and one way or another, you’ll always have the option of going back to school after dropping out.

Mat Woods
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Mat Woods

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