Thought Paper On Student Retention

1389 Words Sep 11th, 2016 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 university in the United States was 49%” (Marsh, 2015). These surprising figures are pertinent to higher education students, faculty and administration as well as the public stakeholders. As a result, higher education is placing a greater importance on increasing retention. Research on student retention began in the late 1970s focusing on factors influencing the attrition of the general student population. Beal and Noel (1980) concentrated on two main areas: student and environmental characteristics. Student characteristics include academic (GPA, aptitude), demographic (ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status), aspirations (commitment, goals) and financial concerns. Environmental characteristics examined were objective…

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