ERIC Number: ED505275
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Structural Determinants of Graduation Rates: A Causal Analysis
Morrison, Michael C.
This study examines graduation rates at public two-year, public four-year and private four-year colleges in the United States. Its major purpose is to account for the variance in graduation rates taking into account several institutional and institutionally-related student financial aid predictor variables. United States colleges and universities are the unit of analysis. College graduation rates are viewed as a function of structural differences between institutions. Of the 3,072 colleges in the sample 20.4% are public four-year institutions, 42.5% are private four-year colleges, and 37.1% are public two-year colleges. All 50 states are represented in the sample. Collectively, these colleges enrolled 10,416,131 full-time equivalent students in 2003-04, the year for the analysis. A "recursive path analysis model" was constructed to provide a means to test the hypotheses and to visually interpret the results. Structural differences between institutions of higher education explain a significant amount of the observed variation in both retention and graduation rates. Goodness of fit indexes support the proposition that the model fits the data quite well. The overall conclusion of the study is that structural differences between institutions may be as important to college persistence and graduation rates as differences in individual students' experiences and commitments. (Contains 8 tables and a bibliography.)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: North Iowa Area Community Coll., Mason City.
Identifiers - Location: United States