Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Katrina A. Meyer

Committee Member

Larry McNeal

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa

Committee Member

Jeffrey Wilson


Retention is critical to the achievement of institutional mission and graduation at all institutions of higher education. The greatest loss in retention occurs from the freshman year to the sophomore year. This study explored the retention of first-time first-year college students at a historically black college, for a five-year period, beginning fall 2006 through fall 2010. It used data obtained from a secondary data source for 3,047 first-time full-time students. Variables included cognitive, institutional, and social factors. Cognitive factors included high school grade point average (HSGPA), ACT, fall grade point average (FAGPA), and cumulative grade point average (CUGPA). Institutional factors included financial aid received (FA), financialaid amount (ADAMT), financial need met (NEED), and Pell Grant recipient (PELL). Social factors include gender (G), residential living status (RLS), first generation college student (FGEN), and family size (FS). Logistic regression was used to analyze the data and predict whether students were retained. Analysis of the regression model showed that the most significant predictors of retention were financial aid received, Pell received, cumulative grade point average, and residential living status. Gender, first generaion andfinancial aid amount follow in significance. The overall categories of institutional and social factors were more significantthan cognitive factors.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.