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Black and Hispanic students were more likely than their white classmates to have considered leaving college in the last six months, according to a recent report from Gallup and the Lumina Foundation. The report also found that stress was the leading reason students considered stopping out.

The findings are based on a fall 2023 Gallup survey of 6,015 currently enrolled students, 5,012 adults with some college but no degree and 3,005 adults who had never enrolled in a higher ed institution.

Students overall were less likely to consider stopping out in 2023 compared to 2022, the report found. However, larger shares of Black and Hispanic students, 42 percent and 40 percent respectively, considered it in the past six months compared to their white peers at 30 percent. For Black students, that percentage is consistent with 2022 and higher than in 2020 or 2021. In contrast, the share of Hispanic students considering withdrawing improved by 10 percentage points in the past year.

Between 50 percent to 53 percent of Black, Hispanic and white students reported that emotional stress was the top reason they considered leaving college, while 41 percent to 43 percent cited personal mental health concerns and 29 percent to 33 percent cited expenses. Roughly a quarter of enrolled students cited struggling with course difficulty or feeling a lack of belonging. Meanwhile, 21 percent of Black students, 14 percent of Hispanic students and 15 percent of white students reported feeling discriminated against at least occasionally if not frequently.

About 60 percent of unenrolled adults across racial groups reported they considered enrolling in a college program in the past two years. Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to have considered a certificate or associate degree program.

Of Black and Hispanic adults, 59 percent reported financial aid and scholarships were “very important” to them potentially enrolling in the next year, compared to half of their white counterparts, the report found. Among unenrolled adults, 46 percent of Black adults and 44 percent of Hispanic adults reported emergency aid could affect whether they enrolled, compared to 34 percent of white adults. Work and personal schedule flexibility was also a factor for 55 percent of Black adults and 54 percent of Hispanic adults, compared to 46 percent of their white peers.