An analysis of the factors shaping student graduation rates for Virginia's public colleges and universities

Livingston, Carolyn H, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Pusser, Brian, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Breneman, David, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Burbach, Harold, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Gansneder, Bruce, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

The purpose of this study was to better understand the demographic, financial, and educational factors that were related to graduation from Virginia's fifteen public colleges and universities. The population for this study consisted of individuals from Virginia high schools who attended a Virginia institution for the first time in either the 1993 academic year or the 1997 academic year. The study utilized descriptive and regression analysis using longitudinal data collected from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Student baccalaureate degree completion was measured after six years.

The variables that "best" predicted baccalaureate degree completion in six years was high school grade point average and total family income. Those students who had high high grade point averages and came from families with higher total family incomes were more likely to complete a baccalaureate degree. Furthermore, students who did not require financial aid or work-study were more likely to graduate within six years.

Students who did not require remediation, specifically English or Math, completed a baccalaureate degree. African-American students and males were less likely to complete a baccalaureate degree while White and female students were more likely. Students who had high math SAT scores were also more likely to graduate. Additionally, students who attended universities with high admission selectivity rates, completed baccalaureate degrees at percentages greater than their state-wide counterparts.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
demographics, student graduation

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-02-18 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:33:37.

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