Frequently Asked Questions

Even if I can't get a great job as a high school dropout, shouldn't I still be able to make enough money to live on if I stay at the same place and work my way up?

I don't like to get up early for school. I almost always miss my first few classes just because I can't wake up that early. Now I'm worried I'm going to fail. I want to finish high school, but how can I do it when I'm such a night person?

I need to work full-time to support myself and/or my family. My part time job helps to pay bills. I can't keep up with school work. Since I already have a job, do I really need a diploma?

When you have income right now, it is more difficult to think about the future. Your current income takes care of your current expenses. What about your future? Will you current part-time job cover your expenses in the future? Even if you part-time job turns full time, it is enough money to eventually support your own family?

Before you drop out, consider the following options:

  • Students who drop out of school make approximately $9,000 less a year than students with high school diplomas. So, can you really "afford" to drop out of school?
  • Many high schools offer programs at local technical or vocational schools, where you can get training and certification in various fields such as: dental hygiene, culinary arts, radio broadcasting and auto mechanics, for free. Participating in one of these programs can earn you the high school credit you need to graduate. It may also connect you with people who can hire you for a job within the field you.re studying. So, when you graduate from high school you will more likely start out with better wages than you have now and also more likely experience the opportunity for advancement. Contact your high school counselor for more information.
  • If you already have a job and just need to figure out how to work school around your job, then maybe Virtual School is a possibility. Virtual school may allow you to earn your diploma and work around your schedule.
  • Learn more about Virtual School from your school counselor.
  • If you stay in school and receive your high school diploma your life time earnings will be approximately $200,000 more than if you do not earn a high school diploma.

I'm thinking of dropping out of school. Where can I get a job?

I dread going to school every day because I'm bullied and get picked on. It's gotten so bad I'm thinking about dropping out, even though I know that I should really get my diploma. Is there any way I can finish school without physically going to school?

The stuff that I'm learning in high school doesn't have anything to do with what I want to do with my life. Why should I keep on going to school if I'm not really learning anything?

First of all, you're probably learning more important things than you realize.

  • Even if you're not a journalist, you may still have to compose professional and well-spoken emails, cover letters and resumes.
  • Even if you're not a mathematician or engineer, you'll still need math when you're doing your taxes or budgeting your money.
  • While it's true that not everything you learn in high school will be useful to you later, a lot of it will be.

Second, even if you believe you're learning absolutely nothing in high school, completing it and earning your diploma still demonstrates to employers that you're willing to work hard to get things done, even if they're not always things you love to do.

If you're still wishing that your high school classes applied more to your life and future, you may want to consider these options.

  • If your high school has a technical or vocational school that you can take courses in field of study that is interesting to you.
  • Choose your electives wisely. Discuss with your counselor your interest and results on some of your interest inventories from ACT Explore and Plan and/or from the College Foundation of WV portal, so that you can be placed in elective classes that would best suit your interest.

I recently discovered that I'm pregnant, and I plan to have the baby. I want to get my high school diploma, but I'm not sure I can since I'll be taking care of my child full-time. What are my options?

I am thinking about dropping out of school and joining the military. Can I enlist as soon as I drop out of school?

I've missed a lot of assignments, and now I'm really behind in school. I know I'm going to fail a few classes this term and I'm worried the same thing might happen next term. The whole thing is really stressing me out and I just want to be done with it. Is my only option to drop out at this point?

No, that is not your only option. Whether you are struggling in class or not turning in your assignments there are ways for you to pull through and graduate. Consider the following options:

  • Talk to your teachers about the possibility of doing makeup or extra credit work. Chances are, at least some of your teachers will be willing to work with you as long as you follow through and complete the work.
  • Many teachers will offer assistance before and after school in their subject area, if you are in need of extra help. Also, many schools have before and after school tutoring programs that are free. Contact your school counselor for more information about tutoring available at your school.
  • Dedicate a certain amount of time per day to doing homework. Even if you don't have anything due the next day, you can work ahead for classes that may have something due later in the week.
  • If you have failed a course and need to make it up there are several options.
    • Summer school
    • Repeat the course the next year
    • Credit recovery. Most schools have computer-based credit recovery programs.

Contact your school counselor for more information and advice on the best way for you to earn all of your credits for graduation.

I can't do this all by myself. No one cares whether I graduate or not. No one in my family has graduated. So, there is really no point in me trying to graduate when I have no help, right?

Dropouts from the class of 2008 will cost West Virginia almost $1.7 billion in lost wages over their lifetimes.