A Study of Student Retention and Attrition
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The purpose of this study was to statistically uncover the reasons for attrition and retention in Kalamazoo College. To accomplish this goal, three data sets were statistically analyzed. A survey of withdrawing students was the first data set analyzed. The results of this study showed the differences in satisfaction ratings for Kalamazoo College programs and activities between withdrawing students. The withdrawing students also listed their top five reasons for leaving. While many answers were given, there seemed to be a few variables that each withdrawing student agreed upon. The next data set analyzed was of the current population of Kalamazoo College. The results of this survey showed the effects of parental education on the GPA of students. It also showed the effects of studying and drinking on a students GPA. The last data set analyzed came from the records of Kalamazoo College. This data set contained institutional information on all students that entered Kalamazoo College in 1987 through 1992. Regression models were built to determine the effects of academic data (students expected major and major, grade point average), financial data (need, gift, loans, drop in aid, and work study package), high school data (social and academic rankings ), and background data (ethnicity, involvement in athletics, number of family members, and distance of home from Kalamazoo) on attrition and retention. While these variables predicted students who remained enrolled at Kalamazoo College accurately, they were not as accurate with student attrition. The exclusion of relevant social satisfaction variables and other relevant financial variables would more than likely explain the poor prediction strength of students who fell under attrition. Inclusion of these variables through further study would greatly help the prediction strength of attrition students.