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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why Do Some Colleges Have Higher Student Retention?

Student retention is a big issue for colleges that are seeking to balance budgets and ensure that students have the persistence needed to finish their courses. A study in the Virginia Social Science Journal reviewed data from 367 U.S. colleges and universities and came up with a few reason why retention stays high. According to their work, retention is impacted by percentage of faculty with doctorate degrees, SAT scores, and admission acceptance rates (Pfitzner, Brat & Lang, 2011).

Doctoral Rates: As more doctors teach courses they raise the quality and prestige of the university. The level of knowledge and ability of the courses rises and students are more likely to stay focused on their education. The study doesn't say if this is a cultural or a knowledge result.

SAT scores: The higher the SAT score the more studious and hypothetically the student. Admitting more students from the top of the SAT score spectrum means these students are already highly engaged in their education and more likely to complete their programs.

Admission Acceptance Rates: The lower the admission rate the higher the retention. When students are selected for their skills and abilities they are more likely to have what it takes to succeed in school. The university chooses who they want.

Pfitzner, C., Brat, D. & Lang, S. (2011). Explaining college freshman retention rates across the U.S. with applications to schools in Virginia. Virginia Social Science Journal, 46 (18).

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