The role of hope in college retention

Crystal I. Bryce, Ashley M.J. Fraser, Richard A. Fabes, Brittany L. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Students' decision to persist in college is influenced by their entering academic skills and motivation (i.e., hope). Researchers have shown positive relations between high-school academic performance and hope on college retention, independently. Hope emphasizes goal pursuit, focusing on one's motivation to pursue goals and ability to identify tenable routes for goal achievement. The present study extends existing research by examining the role of first-year, first-semester college hope as a moderator of the relation between high-school academic performance and college retention among 276 first-year college students (Mage = 18.67, 65% female). Findings supported the expected moderation for students with average and above-average but not low high school academic performance, such that students with high hope had increased, whereas students with low hope had decreased, odds of retention. Given that hope is malleable and teachable, implications for implementing hope skills training at both course and institution level are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102033
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • College retention
  • First-year students
  • Higher education
  • Hope
  • Motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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