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Frank Daley, the founder of Self-Knowledge College and Dropout to Dean’s List, is an expert on student dropouts, college program switchers and general academic retention.SKCP_Logo

He offers legal services for insurance and personal cases.

He is knowledgeable in three areas:

  • dropout and  program switching statistics,
  • causality re college, high school and university student dropouts
  • retention strategies.


Dropout statistics are notoriously unreliable for several reasons.
Universities and colleges have not traditionally kept great records because for every student who dropped out there were always 20 more applicants.

Similarly, program switching statistics were sketchy. If a student transferred from one program to another, he/she was still in the institution, so “why worry” was the presumption.

Astonishingly high dropout rates have provoked colleges to do better but it is still a minefield. The record-keeping is

  • institution-specific
  • has an ambiguous nomenclature, and
  • is capricious


For example, the number of years designated for a student to be considered a “dropout” varies tremendously. Most colleges consider 6 years acceptable for a student to graduate from a four year program.

Some universities allow nine (9!) years before they, in effect, give up and admit the student dropped out.

Mr. Daley can clarify and explain all this.


If statistics are difficult to pin down, defining causality, that is, the reasons so many students drop out, is almost unfathomable.


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent a lot of time and money into the notion that a lack of money was the big problem but abandoned the idea because it wasn’t accurate.

Money is often available even for some of the poorest students.
Many students who drop out do have financial problems and it is a cause but only one of many, and not the most important.


The general and underlying causes of student dropouts are many and complex. They are an amalgam of

  • financial difficulties
  • poverty (not the same thing)
  • illiteracy
  • weak family structure
  • inadequate parenting (again, not exactly the same thing), and
  • overburdened and weak high school systems
  • among others.

There are also special problems facing immigrant, Native, Black, and Hispanic people, chief among them, language, education, and jobs.


However, there are three specific causes of student failure in school besides the above:

  • a lack of academic preparedness
  • a lack of self-knowledge
  • the critical smack of time in first semester

When these three things hit students in first semester  they flounder. The students don’t know themselves well enough to choose the best programs or areas of study for themselves.

I can describe and explain the process and the outcome.

I examine them in my book, Who Are You And What Are You Doing Here: The way to know yourself and get what you want.

If you need expert information for insurance, retention, academic or personal purposes, email me:
Or call 226-647-6961