Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Robert Melara


College retenction, survival analysis, college premium


This study explored new factors that may be associated with college success, including parents’ education level, annual household income, hours spent outside the classroom, and college premium. The current study provides evidence from an urban public college of predominately low socio-economic status students. Participants (N=251) were students enrolled in fall semester 2009 in an introductory psychology course. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their college experience, demographics and family background. Survival analysis and binary logistic regression was used to evaluate the effect of each factor on college retention Parents’ education level and student’s knowledge of the economic benefits of a college degree showed a significant effect on students persistence through college. Student’s annual household income had only a modest effect on students’ retention. Hours spent outside the classroom (working or studying) had no effect on students’ survival rate through college. The results from this study underscore the importance of students’ knowledge of the economic benefits of college on success in earning a college degree.



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