Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Ann M. Gansemer-Topf


The number of military and veteran students entering higher education continues to grow rapidly; nevertheless, there is a paucity of institutional research from which to draw recommendations about how the college transition translates to academic success and persistence. The purpose of this study was to identify the demographic characteristics, financial, academic, and personal experiences and campus relationships during military and veteran students' transitions to a college or university that predict grade point average (GPA) and intent to return. This study utilized a cross-sectional, non-experimental survey design to determine the relationship between study factors, cumulative GPA, and the level to which these factors can be used to predict academic success as measured by GPA and continued commitment to the institution based on intent to return to the institution.

The results of the study indicated that multiple, but different, factors predict academic success as measured by GPA for community college and four-year institution students. Intent to return could not be predicted utilizing the study model for four-year institution students; however, the perception of being academically prepared to enter the institution was the sole significant predictor of intent to return for community college participants. Relationship and personal factors were consistently insignificant, which presented a new finding in terms of military and veteran student literature. Several recommendations and implications for practice were provided, including specific recommendations by type of institution.


Copyright Owner

Denise Nicole Williams



File Format


File Size

147 pages