Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness


Popp, Jennie

Committee Member/Reader

Popp, Michael

Committee Member/Second Reader

Wood, Lisa


Many first-year college students elect to enroll in their university’s honors program. These programs offer students many educational benefits not provided to non-honors students, such as smaller class sizes, priority registration, and added faculty interaction. However, of the students that enter the university as an honors student, many fail to complete their honors program. Researchers have documented completion rates as low as 18.45% (Campbell and Fuqua, 2008). So why are honors graduation rates so low? In this study, variables were examined that the literature suggests affects honors graduation rates (High School GPA, ACT/SAT scores, AP credits, GPA 1st term and GPA 2nd term, Ethnicity, Gender, first-generation and financial need status, as well as home state/country) to determine which of those may help explain completion of an honors program. The data for this study were incoming freshman honors students in the Walton College of Business (WCOB) at the University of Arkansas­–Fayetteville from 2004-2014.

T-tests and chi square tests were used to determine if significant differences occurred within the observations of these factors in terms of graduating with honors and then used significant variables as the basis for a logit regression model where graduating with honors was the dependent variable. Based on the results of the chi square and t tests, we hypothesized eleven variables would explain whether or not a student graduated with honors. However, the final results suggest that only four factors had significant impacts on graduation with honors: GPA 1st term, high school GPA, number of AP credit hours brought into college and staying in WCOB all four years. There were limitations to the study. There are other variables, such as finding a good mentor, studying abroad, having to work, and having a poor work ethic that may have influence but were not included in this study. Future studies may want to look toward the relationship between honors graduation and the factors that were not covered in this study.


Honors, Student Success, Business, Graduation, Statistics, Service learning