ERIC Number: ED342334
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Survey on Retention at Higher Education Institutions. Higher Education Surveys Report, Survey Number 14.
Chaney, Bradford; Farris, Elizabeth
A survey was conducted to evaluate nationally the retention of undergraduates at institutions of higher education. In particular the survey sought to: determine the rates at which full-time students persisted in and completed higher education; identify factors that institutional representatives felt influence students to leave school; and describe institutional practices and policies to improve retention and their perceived effectiveness. The survey was mailed to 541 institutions; it had an 87 percent response rate. The survey findings showed that of full-time freshmen entering school in fall 1988, 70 percent were still enrolled a year later. The reasons most commonly listed by institutional representatives as important in students choosing to leave without completing a degree or award were financial difficulties, accomplishment of objectives, personal reasons, and poor grades. A majority of institutions collected data on retention within the last year indicating a high level of concern with retention in recent years. Selectivity in admission was the most important predictor of retention at higher education institutions. Programs listed as having a great impact on retention were: help with student finances, help with academic problems, and testing and performance assessment. In the past 5 years, 81 percent of institutions had developed programs aimed at increasing retention. Included are nine figures, and appendixes containing detailed tables, technical notes, and the survey questionnaire. (JB)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Admission Criteria, College Admission, College Attendance, College Freshmen, College Students, Dropout Prevention, Dropout Research, Dropouts, Financial Problems, Higher Education, Low Achievement, Program Effectiveness, School Holding Power, Student Attrition, Withdrawal (Education)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Div. of Science Resources Studies.; Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of the Under Secretary.
Authoring Institution: Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD.