Are the Factors Affecting Dropout Behavior Related to Initial Enrollment Intensity for College Undergraduates?

43 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2006

See all articles by Leslie S. Stratton

Leslie S. Stratton

Virginia Commonwealth University - School of Business - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Dennis M. O'Toole

Virginia Commonwealth University

James N. Wetzel

Virginia Commonwealth University

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

We use data from the 1990/94 Beginning Post-Secondary Survey to determine whether the factors associated with long-term attrition from higher education differ for students who initially enrolled part-time as compared to for students who initially enrolled full-time. Using a two-stage sequential decision model to analyze the initial enrollment intensity decision jointly with attrition, we find no evidence of correlation in the unobservables that necessitates joint estimation, but substantial evidence that the factors associated with attrition differ by initial enrollment status. The timing of initial enrollment, academic performance, parental education, household characteristics, and economic factors had a substantially greater impact on those initially enrolled full-time, while racial and ethnic characteristics had a greater impact on those initially enrolled part-time. The results of our study suggest that separate specifications are necessary to identify at-risk full-time as compared with at-risk part-time students.

Keywords: college enrollment, college dropout, part-time enrollment

JEL Classification: I21

Suggested Citation

Stratton, Leslie S. and O'Toole, Dennis M. and Wetzel, James N., Are the Factors Affecting Dropout Behavior Related to Initial Enrollment Intensity for College Undergraduates? (January 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1951, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=880426

Leslie S. Stratton (Contact Author)

Virginia Commonwealth University - School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 844000
Richmond, VA 23284-4000
United States
804-828-7141 (Phone)
804-828-1719 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Dennis M. O'Toole

Virginia Commonwealth University ( email )

1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284
United States

James N. Wetzel

Virginia Commonwealth University ( email )

1015 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA 23284
United States

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