Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Higher Education

First Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Laura Dinehart

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Norma Goonen

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Daniel Saunders

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


student success, graduation rates, degree completion, retention, Hispanic-serving institution, degree progression

Date of Defense



Despite the rapid growth of the underrepresented population in the U.S., institutions of higher education have not experienced as rapid a growth in their underrepresented student population. Furthermore, it is estimated that in the next few years, more than 40% of jobs will require a postsecondary degree. As the underrepresented population continues to grow nationally and the job market is increasingly requiring job seekers to hold a postsecondary degree, it has become vital that the U.S. and states focus on educating and graduating its growing underrepresented population. The purpose of this study was to determine what demographic, academic, and financial factors contribute to graduation in four and six years for students attending a large, urban, public, research, Hispanic-serving institution in South Florida, where more than 75% of its students are from underrepresented groups.

Using a binary logistic regression, a sample of 30,119 first-time-in-college students admitted between 2010 and 2016 were analyzed to determine the significance of using selected demographic, academic, and financial variables to predict four- and six year graduation, as well as to determine if the significance of those variables changed over time. The results of these analyses indicated that demographic, academic, and financial predictors were significant in predicting whether students graduated in four and six years. In addition, all three groups of predictor variables were individually statistically significant in predicting four- and six-year graduation; however, academic variables accounted for the largest amount of unique variance in both the four and six year models. Moreover, the results indicated that the demographic, academic, and financial variables that were significant in predicting four-year graduation were not the same as the ones that were significant in predicting six-year graduation, although there was some overlap. Overall, the results of this study contribute to the literature on student success and predicting four- and six-year graduation rates.





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