Like most institutions, Michigan Tech studies which of our students tend to fair the best academically. One of the ways we measure success is how many of our students persist from their first year to their second year. This metric, called first year retention, can be influenced by all sorts of variables. This past year 87% of our students retained from their first year to their second year.
Recently we asked ourselves, of all of the data points we know about accepted students before they enroll which of those tended to correlate highest with students who persisted from their first year to their second year. We looked at everything students tell us on both the application and in the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). In addition we reviewed what we know about them from their behavior such as when they applied for admission or if they visited campus. We narrowed down that list to 61 variables and then looked back in history for the last three years to see which of those variables correlated highest with the students who retained from their first year to second. Continue reading