Early Predictors of Early Freshman Year Attrition in Female Hispanic Students Page: 21
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to their decision to attend college, can beat the odds.
Unlike Zalaquett who picked a small group of Hispanic students who successfully
completed their first year, Lalla (2007) researched a small group of six students who dropped out
of New Mexico State University. The intent of the study was to understand the students'
expectations and experiences while in college and explore possible reason for the decision to
leave the institution. What was discovered was that the decision to leave had nothing to do with
their academic experience, but more so with the values these students held such as obedience to
family, responsibility to family, and family independence. Family responsibility played a big
role in a Hispanic student's college experience and felt they must leave the university to be of
more assistance to their family with financial and/or familial responsibilities. Lalla made the
point that a student leaving college, especially a Hispanic student, should not be considered as a
negative for the institution or the student, but a "characteristic" of the student population, and
colleges should know this, expect this and work on simplifying the re-enrollment process.
Another barrier for Hispanic students is misinformation about financing a college
education. There is misinformation about the financial aid process, obtaining scholarships and
grants, and also the total cost of attending college (Admon 2004; Immerwahr, 2003). The lack of
information impacts students' and families' decisions when deciding on college-prep courses and
college entrance exams while still in high school (Zalaquett, 2006). Hispanics tend to be
reluctant to take loans, but with the cost of attending college increasing, it will be very difficult
for Hispanics to earn their degree without taking out loans (Swail et al., 2003).
Research has indicated that students who attend community colleges have a greater
chance of not earning their undergraduate degree (Admon, 2004; Fry, 2002). Another trend that
works against Hispanic graduation rates is that Hispanic students are less likely than any other
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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/m1/32/: accessed January 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .