For example, the significant differences in the roles and expectations for females and males
found in Hispanic culture made it highly likely that the reasons for attrition in higher education
would be different between the male and female populations (Kimura-Walsh et al., 2009; Sy &
The first step toward reducing attrition among Hispanic female students during their first
year in college is identifying the factors contributing to attrition for this group. By examining
first-year female Hispanic students specifically, at an institution (Texas Woman's University)
that provides an appropriate and convenience sample and where early first year attrition is a
concern, predictors of attrition may emerge allowing for generalizations to be made about this
population and corrective steps to be determined to lessen that attrition probability in the future
(Gerdes & Mallinckrodt, 1994; Nicholas, 1990; Otero et al., 2007).
Hispanic female students have unrealistic expectations, more than any other ethnic group
(Lalla, 2007; Moore, 2007; Zalaquett, 2006) and more barriers than any other female ethnicity
(Kimura-Walsh et al., 2009). People are better able to deal with a given situation when having
"realistic" expectations up front. According to Widdows and Hilton (1990), "customer
satisfaction is directly related to the 'gap' between what a consumer expects of the product or
service and what the consumer actually experiences after purchasing the product or service" (p.
86). Reducing the gap between unrealistic expectations and the reality of the first semester in
college should lead to improved retention rates and ultimately impacting society by establishing
a more educated population that is better able to contribute to their families and communities.
This study, focusing on predictors of early freshman year attrition of Hispanic females,
provided critical data for having a positive impact on Hispanic female participation in college. It
Speed, Heather Faye. Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103396/. Accessed December 11, 2013.