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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)
What Reasons Did These Short-Term Enrollees Give for Their Departure?

The 1995-96 beginning postsecondary students who left by 1998 without a credential gave a variety of reasons for their departure. Students were generally more likely to say that they left because they needed to work or to give other financial reasons for their departure than to give other types of reasons. About one-quarter (26 percent) of short-term enrollees cited needing to work as a reason for their departure, and 16 percent identified other financial reasons. Ten percent said that they had completed their desired classes or that they had conflicts at home or personal problems; 8 percent cited a change in their family status; 7 percent said they were taking time off from their studies; 6 percent reported conflicts with their jobs or dissatisfaction with the institution; and 4 percent identified academic problems as a cause of their departure.

Among students who left, those who began at 4-year institutions were more likely than those who began at public 2-year institutions to say that they left because of academic problems (9 versus 2 percent) or a change in family status (12 versus 6 percent). Those who began at public 2-year institutions were more likely than those who began at 4-year institutions to say they left because they were done taking the classes they wanted (12 versus 5 percent) or because they needed to work (29 versus 17 percent).


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