Tuition dependency, federal accountability measures, and desire for the prestige associated with college rankings all necessitate institutional attention to admission, retention, and graduation rates. The need to maintain institutional enrollment compels admissions officers to consider an applicant’s likelihood of persistence in the admissions decision. Admitting students most likely to persist takes advantage of one of the earliest opportunities to affect institutional retention rates. Admissions officers consider high school grades and standardized test scores as the two primary factors in admissions decisions because research has demonstrated they are the two strongest predictors of student persistence in college. Using Astin’s I-E-O model as a conceptual framework, this study used quantitative methodology to consider the influence of high school grades and standardized test scores as inputs on the outcomes of persistence to the sophomore year and four-year graduation at a single institution. Research demonstrates that students with high grades in high school and high standardized test scores are more likely to persist in college, and students with low grades in high school and low standardized test scores are less likely to persist in college. However, little research exists that examines the persistence rates of students who have discrepant high school grades and standardized test scores, those either with high grades in high school and low standardized test scores or with low grades in high school and high standardized test scores. Tests of proportions and logistic regressions were employed to investigate the likelihood of persistence to the sophomore year and four-year graduation of students with discrepant high school grades and standardized test scores compared to students with nondiscrepant high school grades and standardized test scores. This study found that the rates of persistence and graduation for students with discrepant high school grades and standardized test scores were lower than, and significantly different from, the same rates for students with nondiscrepant high school grades and standardized test scores. In addition, high school grades were found to be a stronger predictor than standardized test scores of both persistence and graduation, a finding which is consistent with the literature.
|Advisor:||Jones, Jennifer B.|
|Commitee:||Daniel, Bonnie V., Davis, Cali, Hardy, David E., Harris, Michael S.|
|School:||The University of Alabama|
|School Location:||United States -- Alabama|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration|
|Keywords:||College admissions, Enrollment management, Graduation, High school grades, Persistence, Standardized tests|
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