Undergraduates’ grade-point averages are dependent on their number of friends [Virginia Commonwealth University]
According to National Center for Education Statistics (2018), in 2016-17, the average tuition fees for first-time, full-time undergraduates is $8,800 at 4-year public institutions, $16,300 at private for-profit institutions, or $33,500 at private nonprofit ones. The expense is either paid by students and their families or by private and governmental institutions. Either way, it is of everyone’s interest to ensure that the money spent is due, in comparison with the outcomes (high salary, skilled workers, etc.). Hence, it is crucial and beneficial to investigate what factors influence academic performance variable, measured in grade-point average (GPA). This paper investigated the relationship between the number of friends full-time college students have and their academic performance, retention, and persistence since the rate of retention and persistence and academic excellence are intercorrelate and often coexist. The difference in degrees of impact between high school friends and new college friends on undergraduates was examined. The benefits of social support arose from friendship on undergraduates’ welfare, academic retention and performance were explored. Outside factors that could potentially affect the relationship between the number of friends and GPA, such as gender, living arrangement, satisfaction with college environment and overall life were also assessed. It was established that the more friends an undergraduate student has, the more social support they perceive, the happier and more satisfied with college life they are, and the higher GPA they obtain. However, when the size of undergraduate’s network becomes too big, the available time for intimate friends and for studying is compensated, thinning the positive effect of social support and inflicting undergraduates’ potential capability and performance. Since the conclusion was generated from previous researches and reports, it would be beneficial to have surveys or experiments conducted to either disprove or further support the conclusion.
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