Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 18
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realistic values and maintain satisfaction, while others became dissatisfied and decided to leave
Rausch and Hamilton (2006) also examined the reasons why first year students left their
freshman year by interviewing twenty traditional freshmen who dropped out of college before
their freshman year ended. Not surprisingly, they concluded that the students all had unmet
expectations, misinformation about college, and unclear educational goals. Students were poorly
prepared academically for college and found it difficult to make friends. In response to their
dissatisfaction or misunderstanding of how college life would truly be, the students did not
attend classes regularly, were not involved in student organizations or activities and found it hard
to balance work and school demands. These students felt out of place and were not engaged in
the university at any level. The students found little incentive to keep them at the institution.
Rausch and Hamilton stated that using quantitative predictors to determine "attrition and
retention are not always accurate" (p. 332) and found that a qualitative approach was a more
appropriate method for determining attrition issues. A limitation of their study, leading to the
inaccuracies of using predictors, was that they looked at their sample as a whole. The
researchers did not delineate between gender or ethnicity making a predictor for the entire
sample less reliable.
In each of these studies, first year students were found to have idealistic, exaggerated,
optimistic and/or unrealistic expectations of their college experience. The majority of students
were able to overcome these preconceived ideas and readjust their expectations. For those
students who did not adjust, most were dissatisfied with their college experience and left the
institution. Understanding where gaps exist and why they exist may lead to ways to help
students adjust their expectations to more realistic ones therefore forming the basis for better
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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/m1/29/: accessed February 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .