Higher Education Research Project: Do College Characteristics Predict Student Success?

Client: Applied Research Capstone
Faculty: Dick Netzer and Judy Polyne
Team: Edwina Branch, Yusef Freeman, Roger Goodman, Zareen Mahmud, Carcyle Rochester
Year: 2003
The Capstone team studied the relationship between college characteristics and student success, both in completing college and in the job market. Three dependent variables were tested: job salary, job satisfaction, and the time taken to graduate. The job-related data describe students four years after college graduation. The research showed that private university attendance is a significant factor that affects salary and time to graduate. Other characteristics like school size are not significant. Findings also demonstrated that some factors have a larger impact on these variables—choice of major for instance—than college characteristics. Policy implications for student college choice are apparent: college choice may not have a large effect on later job success.