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The student retention puzzle revisited: the role of institutional image

Faculty Advisor




student retention, higher education marketing, departure, transfer, system dropout, institutional dropout, institutional image

Abstract (summary)

This study aims to develop and test a student retention model that includes system and institutional dropout as outcome variables, examining differences in factors that affect them. We also model the image of the institution as influencing institutional commitment and drop/stay intentions. Using structural equation modeling to test the hypotheses, we found that both initial personal and institutional characteristics (such as students' goal commitment and the higher education institutional image), as well as the institutional experience and integration of the student into the academic environment, will have an effect on the level of student performance and institutional commitment, which in turn influence stay/drop decisions. Higher education administrators need to manage not only conventional factors—such as instructional effectiveness, peer interaction, and academic integration—in order to reduce attrition. They also need to manage brand associations with regard to the positioning of their institution in prospects' minds.

Publication Information

Angulo-Ruiz, Fernando, and Albena Pergelova (2013), “The student retention puzzle revisited: the role of institutional image,” Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 25 (4), 334-353.


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