Research in Higher Education

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 613–642 | Cite as

INSTITUTIONAL SELECTIVITY AND INSTITUTIONAL EXPENDITURES: Examining Organizational Factors that Contribute to Retention and Graduation

  • Ann M. Gansemer-TopfEmail author
  • John H. Schuh


Many institutions of higher education increasingly are concerned with retention and graduation rates. Focusing on private Baccalaureate Liberal and General colleges and universities, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between institutional selectivity and institutional expenditures and retention and graduation rates. Framed by Berger’s (2001–2002) view that organizational behavior can impact student departure, this inquiry examined if expenditures for instruction, academic support, student services, facilities, institutional support, and institutional grants (i.e. student financial aid) could predict retention and graduation rates at baccalaureate-granting institutions. Institutional selectivity and institutional expenditures, specifically those that directly contributed to students’ academic integration, were found to contribute significantly to retention and graduation rates. Recommendations are suggested, including using the results to inform resource allocation strategies that can enhance retention and graduation rates.


higher education finance retention graduation small colleges 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Institutional ResearchGrinnell CollegeGrinnellUSA
  2. 2.Iowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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