Pennsylvania Academic Libraries and Student Retention and Graduation: A Preliminary Investigation with Confusing Results


  • Gregory A. Crawford Penn State Harrisburg Library



This study examined the relationships between specific institutional financial variables and two library-related variables on graduation and retention rates for colleges and universities through correlations and multiple regression analysis. The analyses used data for Pennsylvania colleges and universities that were extracted from the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System (IPEDS) and the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS).  All analyses were run using IBM SPSS software. The correlations showed that both library expenses per student and library use per student were significantly correlated with both graduation and retention rates. In contrast, the multiple regression results showed that neither library budgets nor library use had significant effects on either graduation rates or retention rates. As would be expected, instructional expenses per student had the highest correlation with both graduation and retention and also yielded the strongest coefficient in the resulting regression equations.

Author Biography

Gregory A. Crawford, Penn State Harrisburg Library

Director, Penn State Harrisburg Library (rank: Librarian)