Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/Advisor

Havice, Pamela A

Committee Member

Barrett , David E

Committee Member

Cawthon , Tony W

Committee Member

Satterfield, Jr. , James W


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between expenditures for student affairs / services and college student retention rates. Data reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Set (IPEDS) for the 2007-2008 academic year were used. Public and private-not-for-profit institutions in the United States that completed the IPEDS survey we included in the population and analysis.
A multiple regression analysis was conducted, controlling for institutional size, institutional control, institutional mission, institutional selectivity, and non-student affairs / services expenditures. The study found that expenditures for student affairs / services were a significant predictor of college student retention rates, even when other important institutional characteristics were controlled. According to the findings, institutional selectivity was discovered to be the strongest predictor of college student retention, followed by expenditures for student affairs / services. Institutional control was found to be the third best indicator for college student retention, and institutional expenditures other than those for student affairs / services were the fourth best predictor. Institutional size and institutional mission were not found to be significant indicators for student retention.
Recommendations for theory, research, and practice were discussed based on the results of the study. This study narrowed the scope of previous research, utilized more recent data sources, and accounted for different control variables in an attempt to add to the future construction of a conceptual model of the relationship among institutional expenditures and student outcomes.



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