Research in Higher Education

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 351–373 | Cite as

Racial differences in factors associated with bachelor's degree completion: A nine-year follow-up

  • Ernest T. Pascarella


This study employed a sample of 5,577 students initially enrolling in 352 four-year colleges and universities. The study's purpose was to investigate racial differences in the factors associated with bachelor's degree completion. The sample was followed over a nine-year period, from 1971 to 1980. Tinto's (1975) theoretical model guided the selection of 19 predictor variables. This set of predictors accounted for between 15% and 29% of the variance in attaining the bachelor's degree for white and black men and women. For all race and sex subgroups, measures of the collegiate experience (e.g., number of institutions attended, academic and social integration, and subsequent institutional commitment/satisfaction) had the strongest and most consistently positive regression weights with degree completion. Only a small number of significant race or sex differences were found in the factors associated with degree completion. For black men, the number of institutions attended and the size of the institution initially attended had significantly stronger negative associations with degree attainment than they did for white men. Institutional commitment/satisfaction had positive regression weights for all subsamples, but the magnitude was greater for men of both races than it was for women. Within samples, academic integration was a somewhat stronger predictor of degree attainment than social integration for whites but not for blacks.


Education Research Racial Difference Social Integration Degree Completion Strong Negative Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest T. Pascarella
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EducationUniversity of IllinoisChicago

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