American Indian/Alaska Native students have the highest dropout rates of any racial-ethnic group. This study posits that a poor Academic-Social Context contributes to low grade point average (GPA), which in turn negatively affects AI/AN students’ persistence to graduation. The present study compares the self-reported academic performance of AI/AN undergraduate students with that of students from other ethnic backgrounds, in order to evaluate whether variation in students’ ASC and any identified medical conditions differentially affected AI/AN students. Findings suggest that AI/AN students enter college with poorer ASC and have lower GPA scores. This study points to further investigations into the effects of social contexts on AI/AN students’ academic achievement and retention in college, especially social belongingness.
Keywords: American Indian/Alaska Native, higher education, retention