Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Bernd Schroeder

Advisor Department



The demand for employees with a college degree is steadily on the rise in a plethora of competitive job markets throughout the United States. This increase in demand has aided in the increasing college enrollment rates throughout the country. However, unlike enrollment trends, the rate of college completion has not had the same fortunate rise.

The goal of this study is to research and compare differences among those first-time college students who completed college within four years, six years, or did not complete. The primary source for data in this study was the Office of Institutional Research at USM. Both enrollment and collegiate data were considered for this study. Logistic regression analysis was utilized in the programming software R to address the research objectives.

Although there have been several studies conducted on college matriculation rates, none have been conducted at the University of Southern Mississippi focusing strictly on first-time college students’ completion in a post-recession society. It would be of interest to the university’s administration, as well as in general, to know more about how specific variables (i.e. race, gender, residency, etc.) correlate with the various levels of success these students achieve. Additionally, more focus is being placed on students completing college in four years rather than the previous focus on graduation in six years. The results from this project can be utilized in future academic planning and programming.

Included in

Analysis Commons