Identifying the Drivers of Student Retention: A Service Marketing Approach


  • Amy Rummel PhD Professor of Marketing Alfred University
  • Maeghen L.MacDonald Penn State University



Student retention, higher education, service marketing, Student satisfaction.


Examination of Higher Education literature concerning student retention reveals a variety of influences from student satisfaction, professors’ engagement and/or approachability with students. However, as with most complex issues there appears to be multiple causes for student disengagement. This paper presents a “service marketing†approach to understanding student retention. If a university system is couched in terms of multiple, interactive service encounters, are there interactions which take place on a campus which would lead to a students’ satisfaction/dissatisfaction with that University?  The results indicate that this is in fact true.  While the student-teacher interaction is still critical to retaining students, additional interactions with support staff also emerge as having significant impact on the retention of students. Implications for “customer service†training across all venues within a University are discussed.


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