The Impact of Student Recreational Facilities Use on Student Persistence

Hayden Hoopes, Mitchell Colver, Management Information Systems, Utah State University, Old Main Hill Logan, Utah 84322

Institutions of higher education dedicate substantial resources to developing student recreational facilities (SRF) under the assumption that well-being is positively correlated with student persistence at the university. While there is evidence that physical activity is associated with better learning for college students, research has not explored the impact of SRF on student retention. This study investigated the impact of using SRF on student persistence to the next semester. Using a quasi-experimental observational design, students who used SRF at a university in the Intermountain West were included in the study as participants. Students at the same university who did not use SRF were used as possible comparison students. Prediction-based Propensity Score Matching (PPSM) paired participating and comparison students to minimize self-selection bias between groups. PPSM accomplished this by matching students on both their likelihood to persist and their propensity to participate in SRF. Using these comparable groups, the resulting analysis revealed that students who used SRF experienced an estimated 1.15% (CI: 0.77% to 1.53%) increase in their likelihood to persist to the next semester. This equates to 130 students (CI: 87 to 173) per academic year who were expected to leave the institution but remained enrolled because they used SRF. These results highlight the role of recreation on student well-being as measured by persistence. 

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Hayden Hoopes

Institution: Utah State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Education

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4518