Higher Education

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 415–431 | Cite as

The impact of self beliefs on post-secondary transitions: The moderating effects of institutional selectivity

  • Diane Cardenas Elliott


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between self beliefs, institutional characteristics, and college student persistence. More specifically, this study sought to understand whether self-efficacy beliefs, both academic self-efficacy and social self-efficacy, play a role in college persistence. Further, the possible moderating effects of institutional selectivity were explored. Results showed academic and social self-efficacy beliefs were associated with first-year college persistence. Accounting for the moderating effects of college selectivity revealed a nuanced relationship between self-efficacy beliefs and persistence. Social self-efficacy had the greatest impact on the persistence of students at less selective colleges, whereas academic efficacy was associated with a greater persistence for students at highly selective colleges. Implications for higher education practitioners and counselors are discussed.


College persistence Self-efficacy College selectivity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Studies and Secondary Education, MCHS 124Bloomsburg UniversityBloomsburgUSA

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