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The Relationship between Student Admissions Data and Six-Year Degree Completion

Shoulders, Edgar, & Johnson, 2019 / Journal of Human Sciences and Extension / July 2019


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This study examined the six-year bachelor’s degree graduation status of freshmen (N = 1,839) entering the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences (AFLS) between 2001 and 2010. The overall graduation rate was 64%, including 23% who had transferred out of AFLS. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine if student entry data differentiated between graduates and non-graduates and between AFLS and non-AFLS graduates. High school GPA (HSGPA), first-generation status, and year of admission to the university significantly (p < .001) differentiated between graduates and non-graduates. Each standard deviation increase in HSGPA was associated with a 224% increase in the relative odds of graduating. Students entering each subsequent year had a 10% increase in the relative odds of graduating. Being a firstgeneration student decreased the relative odds of graduating by 52%. Year, major (agriculture or human environmental sciences), and composite ACT score (CACT) significantly (p < .001) differentiated between AFLS and non-AFLS graduates. Students entering each subsequent year had a 16% increase in the relative odds of being AFLS graduates, while agriculture majors were about twice as likely to be AFLS graduates. Each standard deviation increase in CACT score was associated with a 26% decrease in the relative odds of being an AFLS graduate. 

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