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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
Executive Summary
Research Methodology
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

1 In this report, "attrition," "departure," and "leaving college" all refer to 1995-96 beginning postsecondary students departing without receiving a credential and not returning by spring 1998. This pattern is also described as "early attrition" or "short-term enrollment." (return to text)

2 Total (or system) departure, in which students leave postsecondary education altogether, is distinct from institutional departure, in which students leave one institution but enroll at another (Tinto 1993). This report only examines departure from postsecondary education entirely (i.e., total departure). (return to text)

3 Nontraditional student characteristics include the following: being 24 years old or older, delaying postsecondary enrollment by more than a year after high school, enrolling less than full time, being independent, working full time, being currently or previously married, being a single parent, having dependents, or not having a regular high school diploma. (return to text)

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education