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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
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
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

This report builds on previous studies of early attrition1 from postsecondary education by providing a more comprehensive look at students' reasons for early total departure from postsecondary education.2 Using the 1996/98 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:96/98) to examine attrition in the first 3 years of postsecondary education, this study addresses two main issues: student background characteristics associated with departure without a credential from postsecondary education, and among students who did leave, the reasons they gave for their departure. With respect to both issues, this report focuses on understanding how the process of departure from college differs for students who begin at 2-year compared with 4-year institutions. The analysis includes only students who began at these two types of institutions, and it is also restricted to students at public or private not-for-profit institutions, rather than for-profit institutions. The following provides a summary of the key findings for each of the five main questions answered in the report.

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