The present study examined the developmental course of perceived efficacy for self-regulated learning and its contribution to academic achievement and likelihood of remaining in school in a sample of 412 Italian students (48% males and 52% females ranging in age from 12 to 22 years). Latent growth curve analysis revealed a progressive decline in self-regulatory efficacy from junior to senior high school, with males experiencing the greater reduction. The lower the decline in self-regulatory efficacy, the higher the high school grades and the greater the likelihood of remaining in high school controlling for socioeconomic status. Reciprocal cross-lagged models revealed that high perceived efficacy for self-regulated learning in junior high school contributed to junior high school grades and self-regulatory efficacy in high school, which partially mediated the relation of junior high grades on high school grades and the likelihood of remaining in school. Socioeconomic status contributed to high school grades only mediationally through junior high grades and to school drop out both directly and mediationally through junior high grades.