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PEDAR: Executive Summary Short-Term Enrollment in Postsecondary Education: Student Background and Institutional Differences in Reasons for Early Departure, 1996-98
Introduction
What Proportion of Students Left College Without a Credential and Did Not Return in the First 3 Years?
What Factors Were Associated with Early Departure from Postsecondary Education by Institution Type?
Students' Educational Expectations
Other Characteristics
What Reasons Did These Short-Term Enrollees Give for Their Departure?
What Other Characteristics of Short-Term Enrollees Were Associated with Their Reasons for Departure?
Were Differences in Reasons for Departure by Institution Type Found After Controlling for Other Characteristics?
Other Results
Research Methodology
References
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Were Differences in Reasons for Departure by Institution Type Found After Controlling for Other Characteristics?

The results suggest that the reasons for leaving differ between students who began at public 2-year institutions and those who began at 4-year institutions. These differences may be related to the different student populations at 2-year compared with 4-year institutions. For example, reasons given for departure varied between students with and without various nontraditional characteristics, and these students also differed with respect to the types of institutions in which they began their postsecondary education. Students with nontraditional characteristics (such as not having a regular high school diploma or being financially independent) who left were less likely than students without these characteristics to report that they left because of academic problems, as did short-term enrollees who began at 2-year institutions compared with those who began at 4-year institutions. On the other hand, students with nontraditional characteristics who left postsecondary education without a credential were more likely than those without these characteristics to say they were done taking the classes they wanted, as were short-term enrollees who began at public 2-year institutions compared with those who began at 4-year institutions. Among all beginning students as well as among those who left early, students from public 2-year institutions were more likely than those from 4-year institutions to have nontraditional student characteristics.

After taking into account other factors associated with various reasons for departure, short-term enrollees who began at public 2-year institutions were still less likely than those who began at 4-year institutions to say they left because of a change in family status and more likely to say they left because they needed to work. In the multivariate analyses, no differences were found in the rates at which short-term enrollees from different types of institutions reported leaving because of academic problems or because they had completed the classes they wanted. However, in both cases, initial degree objectives were related to leaving: those who planned to complete a bachelor's degree at their first institution were more likely to leave for academic reasons than those who planned to complete an associate's degree, and those who did not plan to obtain any credential from their first institution were more likely than others to leave because they were done taking the classes they wanted.


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education