Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Kendall, Todd

Committee Member

Maloney , Michael

Committee Member

McCormick , Robert


Background/Problem: Education is an important factor in economic success. This research explores how relevant parental education is to their children's education by studying first year college retention as well as first year cumulative grade point ratio. Purpose: By what probability is retention increased on average if a mother or father becomes a high school graduate or a college graduate? Also, by what amount is grade point ratio affected if a mother or father becomes a high school graduate or a college graduate? Design and Methods: A random sample of 844 students who filled out the FAFSA at a southern public university is chosen for the study, after which the summary statistics are analyzed. Following, given that retention is a binary variable, a probit regression is taken to measure significance in relationship to retention. Also, a robust multiple regression analysis is run to measure the effects of GPR. Tests are also done to see if choosing a certain inter-institutional college has a significantly different effect on retention and GPR, as well as tests of joint significance of differing levels of parental education on retention and GPR. Results: The first set of regressions on retention proved to show significance of parental education, significant at the alpha = .01 level. The mother's education level in correlation to retention appeared to be a greater probability effect. The second set regressions on GPR proved similar results-parental education is significant at the alpha = .01 level. On GPR, the father's education appeared to be the greater effect. Conclusions: Parental education is a significant determinant to college attainment of a freshman student.

Included in

Economics Commons



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