Student retention in higher education: Folk high schools and educational decisions
In this article, Solveig T. Borgen and Nikolai T. Borgen investigate whether a folk high school education prevents students from transfer and whether it makes students complete their first undergraduate education faster.
Improving student retention in higher education is perceived as vital to the cost-effectiveness of educational systems. Research shows that clear educational goals may influence student retention, which suggests that helping students make more informed choices may improve student retention. In this article, we investigate whether a folk high school education prevents students from transfer and whether it makes students complete their first undergraduate education faster. The folk high school education is a 9-month program at a boarding school that among other things aims to help students find out what they wish to do in life. Contrary to our expectations, a folk high school education does not reduce transfer between institutions or between study programs. Nor does a folk high school education make students complete their first undergraduate program more efficiently than other students who postpone higher education. One policy implication of this article is that an academic break in itself does not make students more certain of their educational choices, not even at a school that aspire to provide an environment that facilitates greater reflection on where one wishes to go in life.