The Hidden Struggles: Nearly One-Third of High School Students are Deciding Against College Due to Mental Health

Feb 12, 2024

1 min

Leigh McLeanRoderick L. Carey

Choosing whether to attend college is a pivotal moment in any high school student's life. It is a decision that can shape their future, determine their career path, and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen field. However, in a new study, the Education Advisory Board noted that nearly one-third (28%) of high school students cite mental health concerns as a reason they may choose to delay enrollment or opt out of college entirely.


We have multiple experts here at the University of Delaware who can provide context to this phenomenon and talk about what could potentially be done to address the issues.



Leigh McLean can speak primarily about teacher well being and she can also address student well being in the course of her research.


Roderick Carey can speak about Black and Latinx students and their struggles with this decision. 


Broken down even further, 54% of trans students, 53% of nonbinary students, 33% of Black students, 30% of Native Americans and 30% of female students said this was their thinking. Nearly half (48%) of the students survey said "stress and anxiety overshadow their college search and planning."


McLean and Carey have both been featured in multiple outlets including the Associated Press, Education Week and Chalkbeat. They can be reached by clicking their profiles. 



Connect with:
Leigh McLean

Leigh McLean

Associate Research Professor, Education

Prof. McLean investigates how teachers’ emotions and emotion-related experiences including well-being impact their effectiveness.

Developmental PsychologyInstructional PracticesTeachers and TeachingWell-BeingClassroom Behavior
Roderick L. Carey

Roderick L. Carey

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Sciences

Prof. Carey's research serves to make sense of the school experiences of black and Latino adolescent boys and young men in urban contexts.

Teacher EducationPost-Secondary EducationDevelopmental PsychologyAfrican American Education‎Latino Education

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