Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version

Winter 12-2010


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Richard Hoover. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2010
Copyright 2010 Kristi A. Robey


The purpose of this study was to explore what factors affect the degree completion rates of undergraduate female transfer students, ages 19 and older, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Five sub-research questions explored the areas of (a) common factors among the issues faced by the participants; (b) monetary issues’ affect on degree completion; (c) the affect of family responsibilities on persistence; (d) age as a possible factor in degree completion rates; and (e) the number of hours worked and the affect it has on degree completion rates. The study explored the reasons undergraduate female transfer students had for transferring into the institution was well as what needs and expectations these students had in working to obtain their degree. Various characteristics of the students were explored through personal interviews. The researcher examined the data of 15 undergraduate female transfer students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 11 participants in 2005 and 4 more participants in 2010, via a face-to-face interview format. From the research, 7 major themes emerged, which were: (a) academic expectations, including curriculum, deficiencies, expected GPA, and educational objectives; (b) accessibility and accommodation, including advising, childcare, faculty accessibility and support, registration and orientation processes; (c) campus environment, including the campus atmosphere, class size, the institution’s reputation, and parking; (d) finances, including financial aid and scholarships; (e) family support, (f) belonging, including age, both on and off campus involvement, and sense of community; and (g) work influences, such as the number of hours worked and job flexibility.