A Longitudinal Comparison of Minority and Nonminority College Dropouts: Implications for Retention Improvement Programs

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Retention statistics on 2,986 White and 208 minority college freshmen highlight the value of distinguishing between dismissal dropouts and voluntary dropouts and of screening "stop-outs" from dropouts in student attrition studies. Findings reveal that (1) minority Ss had a lower proportion of dropouts than White Ss, despite lower mean admission test scores; (2) dismissal rates were higher forminority Ss, particularly for those with low admission test scores; and (3) a lower percentage of minority Ss voluntarily discontinued enrollment. Implications for the provision of academic support services and counseling for students at risk for dropping out are discussed.

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