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Student Retention

In this tough job climate, a college degree is more important than ever. That’s why the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is helping students who’ve put their education on hold before completing a degree—or “stopped out”—return to finish their bachelor’s degrees. Stop-outs are different from drop-outs in that they don’t want to leave school.
Grad TX aims to connect the 3 million adults over 25 in the state who have some college credit and no degree.


Student success and improving retention rates have become high priorities in higher education. Given significant breadth in definitions, context, programming, funding, and other key factors, what is most important to consider when it comes to student success and retention efforts?


Research shows that each generation sees more value in a college education than the one before. Even with the rising cost of higher education, this next generation of college students—Generation Z—is no exception. However, Gen Z does have different preferences and expectations for learning than previous generations. Colleges and universities need to have a solid understanding of this generation in order to meet their expectations and, ultimately, enhance recruitment and retention.

The intense focus on student success has generated unprecedented pressure for improved retention and completion at institutions across the country and around the globe. At the foundation of an effective student success strategy is harnessing the right technology resources to drive results and positive outcomes.

The business world is in constant flux, driven by geopolitical and societal demands, technological innovation and evolving trends. To meet the needs of employers in this dynamic environment, graduate business education – primarily the MBA – must also undergo significant transformation, capitalizing on innovative educational technology to serve a more diverse array of students who serve a more diverse group of organizations.


Colleges and universities are under intense pressure to boost retention and completion rates, and national research has shown that students who are highly engaged on campus are more apt to graduate. By using student data and predictive analytics effectively, institutions can improve retention rates by identifying students needing early intervention and proactively helping them succeed.

Dealing with covering financial shortfalls in student packages, managing tuition refunds and providing excellent customer support with small staffs are common problems business offices face. This web seminar, originally broadcast on May 8, 2014, featured a financial leader who explained how her institution adapted department policies as enrollment continued to rise. She also discussed the positive impact that providing payment plan options to students and pending aid tracking had on her institution.

DeeAnn Wenger

There are two major concerns that seem to be the most popular worries of students and the general public: The rising cost of tuition and student debt.


The goal of retaining students—and seeing them through to degree completion—has become the focus of numerous research initiatives, articles, technology solutions and intervention strategies. While most of the studies reach very different conclusions, most researchers seem to agree that no one factor holds the key to student persistence. How can higher education leaders accurately predict attrition risk, using the same factors and weightings across all student cohorts and across a wide range of types of institutions? The reality is we cannot.

One proven way to improve retention is by supplementing traditional academic advising with student success coaching. Student success coaching helps students fit school into life and life into school while building up the skills they need to be successful, including study skills, time management, and stress management. As institutions explore the possibility of starting coaching programs to improve student outcomes, there are several challenges they will face.