Title: Determinants and probability prediction of college student retention: new evidence from the Probit model

Authors: Tin-Chun Lin; William Wei-Choun Yu; Yi-Chi Chen

Addresses: School of Business and Economics, Indiana University – Northwest, 3400 Broadway, Gary, IN 46408, USA. ' Department of Economics, Winona State University, Somsen 319E, Winona, MN 55987, USA. ' Department of Economics, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, 701, Taiwan

Abstract: In this study, we adopt the Probit model and employ data on nine new freshmen cohorts at a public regional university to examine predictive factors for students' retention and measure projected probability of retention for an average college student. Results suggest four main findings: 1) high school GPA and class rank are significant positive retention predictors while ACT scores are not; 2) graduating from a larger high school indicates greater likelihood of retention; 3) controlling other factors, being female indicates lower likelihood of retention; 4) programmes including orientation or remedial English courses, on-campus jobs, and on-campus residence positively impact retention. In addition, we discuss implications that connect retention with grade inflation. Grade inflation will have negative impacts on institutions and students, not only in the higher education market but also in both the job and knowledge markets in the long run.

Keywords: college students; student retention; higher education; Probit model; grade inflation; freshmen cohorts; universities; retention prediction; university students.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEED.2012.049174

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, 2012 Vol.3 No.3, pp.217 - 236

Received: 18 Aug 2011
Accepted: 14 May 2012

Published online: 23 Sep 2012 *

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