Once Students, Forever Alumni: A Study Analyzing Drivers of Alumni Loyalty
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The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that contribute to overall perceptions and experiences of alumni who attended post-secondary institutions. The study was developed using a theoretical framework of commitment and social control. The researcher conducted a secondary analysis of a web-based survey that was administered to alumni of a small, private, liberal arts institution in January 2014. Of 8,882 recipients, which represented the entire population of alumni with an e-mail address on record, the survey resulted in 601 usable responses, a response rate of 6.88%. From the survey raw data, the researcher used correlational analysis and contingency tables with chi-square tests to determine the relationship between independent and dependent variables. The study found that career and life preparation, undergraduate and alumni experiences, alumni involvement with the college, communication methods with alumni, perception of prestige, willingness to promote the institution, and level of financial support all contributed to the overall opinion of the college. As the rankings of these independent variables increased by alumni, their opinion of the institution increased as well. Overall, these findings supported existing research and previous studies.