SOURCE: EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics

September 03, 2009 08:15 ET

To Retain or Not to Retain: That Is the Question Answered by EducationDynamics' Latest Survey Revealing the Student Behaviors Most Indicative of Retention and Attrition

EducationDynamics Study Finds Institutional Fit, Satisfaction With the Dating Scene and an Overall Positive College Experience Are Among the Strongest Predictors of Student Retention

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwire - September 3, 2009) - EducationDynamics (http://www.educationdynamics.com) released findings today from a two-year Retention Lift Study designed to identify behaviors among first-year students that serve as predictors of retention and attrition. Institutional fit, satisfaction with the dating scene and an overall positive college experience proved to be key indicators of a student's propensity to reenroll after their freshman year. Conversely, the most compelling predictors of attrition include lack of a strong personal support network, high stress levels and unmet college expectations.

EducationDynamics tracked the behavior of more than 225,000 first-year students from 20 schools nationwide who engaged in academically-purposeful social networking communities, or purpose networks, between 2006 and 2008. Multiple behaviors were measured, including the number of logins into the online program; the number of articles viewed; whether students created social community profiles; the number of photos uploaded to their social profiles; the level of participation in online surveys, games and contests; the level of participation on discussion boards; and the number of instant messages sent. Data collected revealed the following:

Predictive Student Behaviors

-- Students who participated in purpose communities their first year are 10 percent more likely to be retained as compared to non-participants.

-- Students who participated in online contests are 12 percent more likely to be retained as compared to non-participants.

-- Students who viewed four articles are 85 percent likely to be retained while students who failed to read any articles were 53 percent likely to be retained by their institution. Retention rates among students who read six or more articles increased to more than 90 percent.

"To determine the student behaviors highly correlated to a lift in retention rates, it is important to consider student and parent data that is being tracked, and assess how it is being used to predict and prevent attrition," says John Mathew, president of the Enrollment and Retention Services Division of EducationDynamics. "Identifying potential flags early on, such as a drop in academic performance, a roommate problem, or a failure to seek help from advisors and other sources of support, allows institutions to intervene when a student is more inclined to remain enrolled."

Predictive Parent Behaviors

EducationDynamics also measured student retention rates by tracking program usage of more than 70,000 parents between 2006 and 2008, and found that:

-- Students of parents who participated in college-sponsored parent programs experienced a retention rate of 82 percent. Students of parents who did not participate in parent programs were 75 percent likely to be retained by their institution.

-- Students of parents who viewed four articles are 82 percent likely to be retained while students of parents who failed to read any articles were 71 percent likely to be retained by their institution. Retention rates among students whose parents read six or more articles increased to more than 87 percent.

About EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is higher education's leading marketing services company dedicated to helping institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. Through its Market Research and Advisory Services division, the company brings a decade of proprietary research, unparalleled market and student intelligence, and best practice insights to its clients. For more information, visit http://www.educationdynamics.com.

Contact Information