Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 8
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females, in particular, are lagging in participation. In 2006, the U.S. female college student
population was made up of 64% White, 14% Black while only 11% of all female students were
Hispanic (U.S. Department of Education [USDE], 2007). Sy and Romero (2008) stated that the
disproportion of female Hispanics in college is due to most of these students being first-
generation college students, who are more at risk for not completing their college education than
other populations. According to Sy and Romero, not having parents with first-hand knowledge
of the college experience limits the student's ability to assist their children to navigate through
the decisions and preparations needed to be well equipped for higher education.
Getting Hispanic females into college is a strong positive step, but there are many
obstacles this population must still overcome to achieve the ultimate success of earning the four-
year college degree. There are several social factors such as family expectations, societal
expectations, academic preparations, financial concerns, and availability of mentors and role
models that should be considered when attempting to better understand what hinders Hispanic
females from completing their college degree. As mentioned earlier, these factors impeding the
path to graduation, or predictors of attrition, seem to make their negative impact early in a
student's college experience. Retention of any particular population "is a complex and
multidimensional issue and cannot be quickly and easily understood" (Hernandez & Lopez,
2004, p. 54).
Retention rates are generally not broken out by race and by ethnicity together, but they
are provided in more general terms. The first-year retention rate of Hispanic students in fall
2007 was 78.1% nationally (CIDEA, 2009), 85.3% in Texas (THECB, 2009), while the
institution in this study Texas Woman's University (TWU) had a retention rate of 68.1% (TWU
Fact Book, 2009). The first year retention rate of White students in fall 2007 was 80.6%
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Speed, Heather Faye. Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students, dissertation, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103396/m1/19/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .