Research in Higher Education

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 355–371


  • Paul A. Murtaugh
  • Leslie D. Burns
  • Jill Schuster

DOI: 10.1023/A:1018755201899

Cite this article as:
Murtaugh, P.A., Burns, L.D. & Schuster, J. Research in Higher Education (1999) 40: 355. doi:10.1023/A:1018755201899


Survival analysis was used to model theretention of 8,867 undergraduate students at OregonState University between 1991 and 1996. Attrition wasfound to increase with age, and decrease with increasing high school GPA and first-quarter GPA.Non-residents had higher attrition rates than didresident and international students, and students takingthe Freshman Orientation Course appeared to be atreduced risk of dropping out. Statistically significantassociations of retention with ethnicity/race andcollege at first enrollment were also noted. Aproportional hazards regression model was developed topredict a student's probability of leaving school basedon these demographic and academic variables. Theseanalyses are helping to guide the university's effortsto improve retention through marketing, recruitment, and the development of orientation and otherprograms.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul A. Murtaugh
  • Leslie D. Burns
  • Jill Schuster

There are no affiliations available

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