Institutional Location and College Persistence: The Role of Urbanicity

P. Johnelle Sparks, University of Texas at San Antonio
Anne-Marie Nunez, University of Texas at San Antonio

An abundant literature exists on the multifaceted determinants of college persistence or departure in the United States. Most literature highlights the important effects of demographic and individual characteristics of students, family background, high school preparation, college experiences, and institutional characteristics on persistence and ultimate degree attainment. However, very little research has focused on the college persistence patterns of students based on location of the institution attended in terms of urbanicity (e.g., urban, suburban, rural). This study addresses these questions: What are the effects of attending a rural, suburban, or urban institution on college persistence, when controlling for other individual and institutional factors? Do the correlates of persistence operate in a similar fashion for students enrolled in rural, suburban, and urban institutions, controlling for other individual student and institutional characteristics? Using multilevel modeling techniques, this research provides one of the first quantitative assessments of college student persistence based on institutional location, using nationally representative data.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1