ERIC Number: ED237045
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Influence of Academic Performance, Demographic Background, and Discipline on College Grades and Course Withdrawals.
Prather, James E.; Sturgeon, Joseph S.
The performance of students who persisted or withdrew from courses was compared in a survey of all undergraduate students enrolled at Georgia State University during the spring 1981 quarter. Multivariate analysis was applied to three aspects of withdrawal and performance: course grades, the length of time withdrawing students stayed in the course, and characteristics of course persisters and dropouts. It was found that past grade point average (GPA), course contextual variables such as the overall ability of the class, and the discipline of the course were the most significant factors affecting withdrawal and academic performance. Students with higher GPAs withdrew less, made better grades, but also seemed to use withdrawal as a mechanism to maintain academic status. That is, many students used withdrawal to avoid making a grade less than one that they expected. Classes where students with high ability predominated had lower grades than classes with students of mixed ability. Disciplines such as finance, information systems, and mathematics generated more withdrawals. In general, these factors had a similar impact across lines of race and gender. (Author/SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Georgia State Univ., Atlanta. Office of Institutional Planning.
Identifiers: Georgia State University