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The Roads to Success: Analyzing Dropout and Degree Completion at University


  • Elena Arias
  • Catherine Dehon


In this paper we study the factors that influence both dropout and degree completion (4 or 5 years to earn a degree) at university using survival analysis. In particular, we apply the set of discrete-time methods for competing risks event history analysis described in Scott and Kennedy (2005). Using the competing risks model, we show that foreign students are more likely to experience consecutive enrollments without actually getting a degree. Also, having a mother with a higher education degree reduces significantly the risk of dropping out and at the same time increases the chance of graduation. Finally, the impact of a variable can evolve throughout the academic path. For example, “having chosen a strong mathematical profile during high school ” reduces significantly the risk of dropping out only in the early years of study.

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  • Elena Arias & Catherine Dehon, 2011. "The Roads to Success: Analyzing Dropout and Degree Completion at University," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-025, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/96837

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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    1. repec:bla:jorssa:v:180:y:2017:i:2:p:613-631 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Catalina A. Vallejos & Mark F. J. Steel, 2017. "Bayesian survival modelling of university outcomes," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 180(2), pages 613-631, February.

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