In order to better understand the reasons why some students leave UIC prior to graduating, we asked UIC students who enrolled for their first semester of college in fall 2013 but did not re-enroll in either spring or fall 2014 to participate in a research study. These former students completed a survey about their experiences at UIC and reasons for not returning. The survey was constructed to broadly cover four main areas: academic, financial, family-related, and social issues that may have contributed to the former student not returning to UIC. A subset of former students who completed the survey was then randomly selected to participate in a follow-up interview to obtain more detailed information about their experiences. Initial findings suggest that academic and financial problems are the leading reasons students do not persist in college. Further, the data suggested that financial-related problems often are the precursor to academic problems.
In partnership with the Office of Institutional Research, Academic and Enrollment Services and Student Affairs, this study was relaunched in fall 2016. The 2016 study was a survey-only and included all students who were enrolled that semester- first year students, transfer students, students with advanced standing- and did not return for spring 2017. Results largely confirmed the 2013 study with few differences between student groups based on standing.