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DESIRE TO FINISH COLLEGE: An Empirical Link Between Motivation and Persistence


A strong desire for achievement may be seen asan important component of student motivation to completecollege. This study examined the structuralrelationships among four constructs: (1) motivational factors, (2) student background factors, (3)academic performance, and (4) persistence. Motivationand background factors were examined to determine theirdirect and indirect effects on academic performance and persistence for minorities andnonminorities. The study supported utilization offactors external to the students' college experienceidentified in the retention literature based on Bean's(1980) Student Attrition Model. While it was found thatmotivation failed to impact academic performance foreither racial subgroup, a significant motivationaleffect on persistence was found for minorities but notfor nonminorities in this study. Minority studentswith high levels of motivation tended to persist totheir second year. Policy implications arediscussed.

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Allen, D. DESIRE TO FINISH COLLEGE: An Empirical Link Between Motivation and Persistence. Research in Higher Education 40, 461–485 (1999).

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  • Indirect Effect
  • Academic Performance
  • Policy Implication
  • Education Research
  • Background Factor