Using a dataset of ASU students from the 2016-2017 cohort, we interact gender and parent education level to observe gaps in academic achievement. We see a statistically insignificant achievement gap for males across parent education level, but a statistically significant achievement gap for females across parent education level. We also observe dropout gaps among these interaction groups. We see the widest dropout gap being between males across parent education level, with the smallest dropout gap being between females across parent education level. So with males we see an insignificant achievement gap but the widest dropout gap across parent education level, and with females we see a significant achievement gap but the smallest dropout gap across parent education level. What is driving these gaps and causing more similarly performing students to drop out at wider rates? At the aggregate level, we see larger gaps in grade- associated dropout probability across parent education level for males which may be able to explain the larger difference in overall proportions of dropouts between males. However, when predicting dropout probability of the semester with the most first generation and non-first generation dropouts, we see that females have the largest differences across parent education level in grade-associated dropout probability. This suggests that our model may be best suited in using college achievement data to predict overall dropout probabilities, not next-semester dropout probabilities using current semester data. Our findings also suggest that first generation students’ dropout probability is more sensitive to the grades they receive than non-first generation students.
- Academic and Demographic Factors Predicting College Dropout Rates