Institutional Expenditures and Student Graduation and Retention: The Obvious and the Unbelievable

As the cost of higher education continues to rise, pressure from community colleges offering four-year degrees increases and the accountability for how funds are used grows more intense, college administrators must understand how to best use finite university dollars to support students. Professor Chris Dahlvig (assistant professor of business at Linfield University) and Dr. Jolyn Dahlvig (associate dean of students at Oregon Institute of Technology) share the correlations they have discovered between certain Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) expense categories and retention and graduation rates of first-time, full-time students attending a subset of four-year liberal arts institutions. They also suggest what’s needed next in their research and how their findings might influence institutional spending at Linfield.