The Advantages of a High School Diploma for Young AdultsReading Time: 4 minutes
In the United States, one out of six students becomes a high school dropout and fails to make it to graduation day. This is an alarming statistic in this day and age, when a college degree represents much more than a green light to a future income. Of the 11.6 million jobs added to the US economy between 2010 and 2020, 99 percent have gone to workers with a least some college education. Hence, the effects of dropping out of high school go beyond missing a formative experience. Without this diploma, high school dropouts have limited opportunities for future success from an educational, employment, financial, or health perspective.
“Of the 11.6 million jobs added to the US economy between 2010 and 2020, 99% have gone to workers with at least some college education.”
A large driver for students dropping out of high school is the opportunity to experiment with drugs and alcohol. At first, this can seem like a way to fit in with peers, but too often it leads to addiction. The effects of drugs on high school students can make it difficult to determine priorities, causing schoolwork and college applications to fall by the wayside.
The Advantage of a High School Diploma
& Why It’s Worth It
For young adults in their 20s, working towards achieving a GED is a goal to achieve alongside the recovery process. According to an August 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, those who have less than a high school diploma have a higher unemployment rate at 5.7 percent, compared to a 3.9 percent unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma, and 2.1 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree. Further, high school graduates earn a national average of $8,000 more annually compared to high school dropouts.
The good news is, no matter what stage of recovery you’re in, returning to high school is possible. Going back to school is also easier now that there are more alternative programs for high school dropouts, including online education and e-learning platforms.
“High school graduates earn a national average of $8,000
more annually compared to high school dropouts.”
Moreover, going back to school instills a sense of responsibility that can be difficult to foster outside of a structured environment. Specifically, for those struggling with co-occurring disorders—such as drug abuse alongside mental health issues—working in a productive environment creates momentum and a sense of community. Furthermore, getting into a routine encourages consistency and builds self-confidence. Working toward a degree gives young people opportunities to take pride in their achievements.
High School Dropout Consequences & Prevention
If you dropped out of high school, it’s important to realize that being a high school dropout doesn’t define you. Every individual takes a separate life path and reaches special milestones at different points in their lives. Rather than comparing yourself to others, it is important to focus on your own personal journey and the small positive steps you are making.
If your struggle is centered around substance abuse and mental health issues, acknowledging your issues, taking action to get help, and remaining consistent with a recovery program is key to long-term success. It is never too late to turn things around and change the trajectory of your life. By re-enrolling in high school or one of the many alternative programs for high school dropouts, you can positively impact your present and future self.
Given these statistics, keeping youth in school should become a top societal priority. Without question, there is a price to be paid by our whole society when young people drop out of high school.
The increased impact on public health occurs not only because of the elevated risk for drug abuse, but for the following issues as well:
- Lack of healthcare coverage
- Increased number of health problems and illness
If you think you or a loved one is in need of substance abuse treatment, contact us to discover a potential path to healing. We believe it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to help you or a loved one get back on track towards living a healthy, fulfilling life. Our philosophy is that often substance abuse masks an underlying issue, which requires an integrated approach to healing. The path forward requires support, and whether or not Newport Institute is the right fit for you or your loved one, our commitment is to help you find a lifelong solution.