Do dropouts have an alma mater and are alumni of the institution where they dropped out in the respective phase of their studies (undergraduate, master or doctorate)? Or are these terms only meant for successful graduates?

E.g., is a student dropping out from the master/PhD an alumni of the university where he/she tried the master/PhD or of the university where he/she graduated with the next lower degree (BSc/master)?

  • I believe so! I don't know if they have a name for dropouts.
    – The Guy
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 22:42
  • 3
    Asked and answered on English.SE: english.stackexchange.com/questions/49361/… Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 22:44
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it does not relate to Academia as defined in the FAQ
    – Ric
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 22:57
  • 1
    At first glance, as far as being on-topic or not, this question is borderline for me. The answers at English.SE do seem to relate well to the question here, though, and I would expect that answers obtained here (if the question were reopened) would be similar. It seems that leaving it closed for now is the logical choice.
    – Mad Jack
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 2:59
  • Some institutions have specific policies about this. For example, "alumni" may include anyone who has ever enrolled, even if they have not left. Commented May 1, 2016 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


A person who drops out is technically an alumnus however the term normally is used for someone who actually graduated. It can refer to anyone who is a former student or even employee of an institution.

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