Student Attrition at the Five Federal Service Academies - Enclosure A

FPCD-76-12A: Published: Mar 5, 1976. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 1976.

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During the course of GAO's study of the student attrition rate at the five Federal service academies (West Point Military Academy, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, and the Coast Guard Academy), the need to determine the major causes of attrition was recognized. An official academy report stated that many factors contribute to student attrition, noting particularly "health, misconduct, academic deficiency, and an unwillingness or inability to adhere to the high and demanding standards characteristic of academy life." There is a tendency for academy officials to blame attrition on some enduring personal characteristic of disposition of the dropout (for instance, he was a quitter or lacked self-discipline) or some national or social factor beyond the control of the academy. On the other hand, dropouts and other current students were more likely to blame attrition on such environmental characteristics as lack of freedom and time shortages.

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