Graduation season is upon us in Massachusetts, but not everyone graduates. Not everyone graduates on time, either. It's never too late to get an education. Although rates of students dropping out has decreased over the last 100 years, high school students drop out for many reasons.

Why students drop out

  • too many absences
  • fighting with teachers or students
  • poor grades
  • "easier to get GED"
  • didn't like school
  • needed to care for family member
  • pregnancy
  • needed a job
  • marriage
  • mental illness/addiction
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Getty Images

Massachusetts law on truancy

The larger and poorer the community, the higher number of students who drop out. That's just the reality of it, unfortunately.

In Massachusetts, if you have reached your 16th birthday, you can simply stop going to school. Truancy laws do not apply to students 16 and over.

If you want to leave school and are not yet 16, the easiest way to do it is to get approval to homeschool. You do this through your local school district.

Welcome to Massachusetts road sign.

5 Massachusetts cities with the highest number of dropouts for 2022-2023 school year:

  • Boston Public (14,345 total high school students), 650 student dropouts.
  • Lynn Public (5,239 total high school students), 290 student dropouts.
  • Springfield Public (7,064 total high school students, 280 student dropouts.
  • Brockton Public (4,152 total high school students, 245 student dropouts.
  • Worcester Public (7,427 total high school students, 232 student dropouts.

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People can always go back to school and earn their GED. Massachusetts also has a number of affordable community colleges.

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