Research in Higher Education

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 15–38

The estimation of a conceptual model of nontraditional undergraduate student attrition

  • Barbara S. Metzner
  • John P. Bean

DOI: 10.1007/BF00992303

Cite this article as:
Metzner, B.S. & Bean, J.P. Res High Educ (1987) 27: 15. doi:10.1007/BF00992303


The purpose of this study was to estimate a conceptual model of nontraditional student attrition. Data were gathered from 624 nontraditional (commuter, part-time) freshmen at a midwestern urban university enrolling 22,000 students. For these nontraditional students, dropout was a function of GPA and credit hours enrolled, as well as the utility of education for future employment, satisfaction with the student role, opportunity to transfer, and age affecting dropout through intent to leave. In addition, absence from class, age, high school performance, and ethnicity had indirect effects on dropout through GPA. These results suggested that nontraditional students dropped out of college for academic reasons or because they were not committed to attending the institution, but their reasons for leaving were unrelated to social factors at school. The findings helped validate the conceptual model.

Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara S. Metzner
    • 1
  • John P. Bean
    • 2
  1. 1.University DivisionIndiana University-Purdue UniversityIndianapolis
  2. 2.Department of Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesIndiana UniversityBloomington