Nearly 80% of students considering discontinuing their studies believed institutions can do more to keep them enrolled with student support.

Can higher ed fix an alarming gap in student support?


Nearly 80 percent of students considering discontinuing their studies believed their institution can do more to keep them enrolled

There exists a significant gap in critical student support services for at-risk and minority students at their institutions, according to a survey from Blackboard Inc., conducted in consultation with Qualtrics.

The survey of more than 2,100 postsecondary students across the United States released today also found that a more personalized and proactive approach to support services at higher education institutions could play a critical role in helping students at risk of dropping out persist.

“Real gaps for at-risk and minority students emerged in the survey results,” said Richa Batra, Vice President of Student Success at Blackboard. “At-risk student populations were less likely to have received support in the past, less likely to know where to find it, and found it more difficult to receive it. It’s a triple red flag for institutions.”

While the majority of students (52 percent) said they were satisfied with the level of support they received during COVID, the survey also found that students of color and those “at risk of not returning” had much less confidence they could find the support they needed across all categories of student support.

For example, at-risk students were nearly half as likely to feel confident they could find academic/tutoring support (32 percent vs 60 percent) and students of color were 13 percentage points less confident they could find academic/tutoring support than their white peers.

Laura Ascione