Student Retention Thesis

1389 Words 6 Pages
Thought Paper on Student Retention
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States ranks seventh among industrialized nations for those between the ages 25-34 with a college degree (Webster & Showers, 2011). The United States has the highest attrition rate of industrialized nations, estimated between 30 to 50 percent. This statistic not only negatively impacts college revenue but “lost investment” in higher education as well. Between 2003 and 2008, approximately $6 billion in aid was appropriated to higher education, as well as $2.9 billion in State and Federal Grants for students who left after one year of study (O’Keefe, 2013). The “6-year graduation rates for 2002 fall entrants at public colleges and
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Student factors generally include “academics, involvement, and demographic variables.” Student-centered elements influencing retention may be academic aptitude and campus involvement of the student. Tinto (1997) established “college grade point average, hours studied per week, and perceptions of faculty were related to persistence” (Campbell & Mislevy, 2013). Other risk factors influencing attrition rates are race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic levels, as well as student disability and mental illness (O’Keefe, 2013). Not only do student factors play a role in the decision to leave college, institutional factors do as well. “Size, selectivity, organizational structure, financial context, and location” are all institutional factors that contribute to retention (Marsh, 2015). For example, public universities have lower retention rates than private colleges. Other features of colleges and universities that may be altered to positively affect the student are academic and student support services, financial provisions and communications between students, faculty and administration (Marsh,

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