The Correlation Between Timing of Financial Assistance and Withdrawal Rates for Nontraditional Students at a Community College in South Mississippi

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Clyde Ginn

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


The purpose of this study was to determine if the retention of nontraditional students was directly effected by the withholding of financial aid refunds until the sixth week audit date set forth by the Mississippi state funding formula for community colleges. The three hypotheses were "Is there a significant correlation between timing of financial assistance and withdrawal dates of nontraditional students?", "Is there a significant difference in the withdrawal rate of traditional and nontraditional students based on the lack of financial assistance?", and "Can the timing of the financial aid refund be used to predict retention?". Ninety-nine students were surveyed through a withdrawal survey. Students attributed withdrawal to family obligations, financial difficulties, and work related issues. Withdrawal was not attributed to timing of financial aid refunds.