A Student's Approach to College Retention

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Walker, Aleisha C.
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This study focuses on how potentially "at-risk" college students successfully remain at the College of Charleston until graduation. Some factors that influence college retention are race, gender, socioeconomic status, parents’ educational background, academic ability, financial assistance, social integration, and environmental push factors. More specifically, students, especially females, from high-income families who had high educational aspirations and were committed in some way to the institution graduated more than those who were not. Therefore, students who are not white or female or from a high income background are seen as being more at risk of not retaining at the institution or graduating from it. Black males are less successful in their college careers than black females. Despite the high risk of non-retention among these types of students, some of them do remain in college and graduate. This study collects the stories of College of Charleston students’ experiences before and during college that potentially influence their retention. Students were interviewed and patterns in influences and experiences have been identified. This research will potentially assist the College of Charleston and similar institutions better serve students who may be at risk for dropping out.
retention, demographics, social integration, environmental push, financial assistance, academic ability