Utilizing a random sample of 836 first-time, full-time freshmen at the University of Minnesota we track the inclusion of students in the University's Facebook network at the end of the fall 2007 term and explore its potential relationship with a student's first-year retention decision. While simply joining the University of Minnesota's Facebook network does not appear to impact a student's retention decision, we find that the number of friends a student identifies within the University's social network is positively related to student retention. Additionally, we find that in addition to size, the structure of student's social network is also related to a student's retention decision.
Presented at the National Symposium on Student Retention (NSSR), New Orleans, LA, October 2012.
Jones-White, Daniel R.; Galliger, Andrea; Locher, Holley.
Find Your Friends on Facebook: The Estimated Impact of Online Social Networks on Student Success.
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