The Determinants of Success and Failure of Italian University Students. Evidence from administrative data
| RIVISTA INTERNAZIONALE DI SCIENZE SOCIALI - 2011 - 2
We use unique administrative data from a large private Italian university to estimate whether individual
characteristics, academic performance, geographical mobility and family size may affect
completion of a degree course or not. Several outcomes are taken into account, namely the probability
of withdrawal for voluntary or involuntary reasons, of graduating within the minimum period,
and graduating with top marks. Our estimates highlight that all the above aspects drive the outcomes
analysed. Poor high school performance in particular increases the chances of non-completion and
graduation after the legal length of the course. In contrast, higher final high school marks, a more
academic-oriented diploma, living in a small family and being commuters result in a higher probability
of gaining a degree with top marks and within the minimum period.
Key words: survival analysis, dropout, stopouts, time-to-degree, undergraduate performance.
JEL Classification: J24, I23.