The role of first-semester GPA in predicting graduation rates of underrepresented students

Susan Gershenfeld, Denice Ward Hood, Min Zhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Academic performance is a primary predictor of college graduation, yet few studies have examined one of the earliest indicators of academic performance - first-semester grade point average (GPA). Given the considerable public and private investment in ensuring access for underrepresented students, a focus on the role of first-semester GPA for these students is particularly important. This is a study of 1,947 students at a public, flagship university in the Midwest who were enrolled between 2005 and 2006 in targeted access program(s) that offered scholarship and support services. A set of logistic regression models indicate low first-semester GPA is a statistically significant factor in explaining why underrepresented students do not graduate within the 6-year time frame. In addition to students on academic probation (GPA below 2.0 on a 4.0 scale), this includes students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.33. Independent effects of race and scholarship/support programs are also assessed. Policy and practice implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-488
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

semester
student
private investment
public investment
probation
performance
logistics
graduate
regression
university

Keywords

  • College graduation
  • First-semester GPA
  • Underrepresented undergraduate students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

@article{1a7680319b8c4785bd5f128e518d48f9,
title = "The role of first-semester GPA in predicting graduation rates of underrepresented students",
abstract = "Academic performance is a primary predictor of college graduation, yet few studies have examined one of the earliest indicators of academic performance - first-semester grade point average (GPA). Given the considerable public and private investment in ensuring access for underrepresented students, a focus on the role of first-semester GPA for these students is particularly important. This is a study of 1,947 students at a public, flagship university in the Midwest who were enrolled between 2005 and 2006 in targeted access program(s) that offered scholarship and support services. A set of logistic regression models indicate low first-semester GPA is a statistically significant factor in explaining why underrepresented students do not graduate within the 6-year time frame. In addition to students on academic probation (GPA below 2.0 on a 4.0 scale), this includes students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.33. Independent effects of race and scholarship/support programs are also assessed. Policy and practice implications are discussed.",
keywords = "College graduation, First-semester GPA, Underrepresented undergraduate students",
author = "Susan Gershenfeld and Hood, {Denice Ward} and Min Zhan",
year = "2016",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1521025115579251",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "17",
pages = "469--488",
journal = "Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice",
issn = "1521-0251",
publisher = "Baywood Publishing Co. Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of first-semester GPA in predicting graduation rates of underrepresented students

AU - Gershenfeld, Susan

AU - Hood, Denice Ward

AU - Zhan, Min

PY - 2016/1/1

Y1 - 2016/1/1

N2 - Academic performance is a primary predictor of college graduation, yet few studies have examined one of the earliest indicators of academic performance - first-semester grade point average (GPA). Given the considerable public and private investment in ensuring access for underrepresented students, a focus on the role of first-semester GPA for these students is particularly important. This is a study of 1,947 students at a public, flagship university in the Midwest who were enrolled between 2005 and 2006 in targeted access program(s) that offered scholarship and support services. A set of logistic regression models indicate low first-semester GPA is a statistically significant factor in explaining why underrepresented students do not graduate within the 6-year time frame. In addition to students on academic probation (GPA below 2.0 on a 4.0 scale), this includes students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.33. Independent effects of race and scholarship/support programs are also assessed. Policy and practice implications are discussed.

AB - Academic performance is a primary predictor of college graduation, yet few studies have examined one of the earliest indicators of academic performance - first-semester grade point average (GPA). Given the considerable public and private investment in ensuring access for underrepresented students, a focus on the role of first-semester GPA for these students is particularly important. This is a study of 1,947 students at a public, flagship university in the Midwest who were enrolled between 2005 and 2006 in targeted access program(s) that offered scholarship and support services. A set of logistic regression models indicate low first-semester GPA is a statistically significant factor in explaining why underrepresented students do not graduate within the 6-year time frame. In addition to students on academic probation (GPA below 2.0 on a 4.0 scale), this includes students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.33. Independent effects of race and scholarship/support programs are also assessed. Policy and practice implications are discussed.

KW - College graduation

KW - First-semester GPA

KW - Underrepresented undergraduate students

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84962194745&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84962194745&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1521025115579251

DO - 10.1177/1521025115579251

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84962194745

VL - 17

SP - 469

EP - 488

JO - Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice

JF - Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice

SN - 1521-0251

IS - 4

ER -