ERIC Number: ED470227
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Short-Term Enrollment in Postsecondary Education: Student Background and Institutional Differences in Reasons for Early Departure, 1996-98. Postsecondary Education Descriptive Analysis Reports.
Bradburn, Ellen M.
This report builds on previous studies of early attrition from postsecondary education by providing a more comprehensive look at students' reasons for early total departure from postsecondary education. Using the 1996/1998 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study to examine attrition in the first 3 years of postsecondary education, the study addressed student background characteristics associated with departure without a credential from postsecondary education and the reasons students gave for their departure. The analysis included students at two-year and four-year institutions that were public or private not-for-profit. Almost one-third of students (32%) left without a credential within 3 academic years, but those who began at four-year institutions were less likely to leave than those who began at two-year institutions (17% to 19% as opposed to 35% to 44%). The percentage of students who left without a credential was greatest in the first year of enrollment, and smallest in the third year. Not all students actually planned to complete a degree. Of those who did, students who left without a credential gave a variety of reasons for their departure. They were more likely to say that they left because they needed to work or to give other financial reasons for their departure than to give other types of reasons. Ten percent said that they had completed their desired classes or that they had conflicts at home or personal problems, and only 4% identified academic problems as the cause of their departure. Reasons for leaving differed between students who started at a two-year and those who started at a four-year institution, with change in family status and need to work more likely to have affected leaving from a two-year college. Leaving because of academic problems was more common among students who did not have nontraditional characteristics. Two appendixes contain a glossary and technical notes. (Contains 36 tables, 10 figures, and 15 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, College Students, Dropouts, Enrollment, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Paying for College, School Holding Power, Student Characteristics
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.; MPR Associates, Berkeley, CA.
IES Cited: ED555627