Student Retention Rates

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Psychology Courses / Course / Chapter

Student Retention Rates

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Kayla Armstead, Monica Gragg
Discover what student retention is by exploring a student retention definition. Learn why student retention is important and understand student retention's effects. Updated: 02/08/2022
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Lesson Summary

Student retention is a measurement of successful completion of academic programs. Schools with higher graduation rates thus have higher retention rates. Many factors influence student retention, including the strategies that schools Implement to increase retention and personal circumstantial factors such as socioeconomic status, which are outside of a school's control. There are both positive and negative effects of emphasizing student retention. High student retention often reflects a school's commitment to student success. A school with a higher retention rate will attract more new students, which creates a financial incentive for student retention. However, there are negative impacts on student retention as well. Programs such as the No Child Left Behind Act created an incentive for high retention rates. Schools were ranked and received resources based on their student retention rate. However, this created a negative consequence as schools were incentivized to advance struggling students who struggled throughout their academic careers.
Frequently Asked Questions

Why is student retention important?

It can be a measure of a school's commitment to student success. It reflects the number of students that graduate.

Why is student retention a problem?

It has financial incentives. This circumstance can cause schools to pass students even if they poorly perform to keep their retention rates high.

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