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BACKGROUND CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS INFLUENCING DROPOUT RATE OF UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA

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BACKGROUND CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS INFLUENCING DROPOUT RATE OF UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA: A CASE OF JOMO KENYATTA UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
BY
MAUREL WAMBUA
A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED IN FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE IN COMMUNICATION AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES OF JOMO KENYATTA UNIVERSITY
SEPTEMBER, 2018
DECLARATION
This research project is my original work and has not been presented to any other examination body.
________________________________ ____________________________
Maurel Wambua Date
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and
Techonology, Kenya
This research project has been submitted for examination with the approval of my supervisor.

________________________________ ____________________________
Prof. Date
JKUAT, Kenya

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DEDICATIONS
To my loving family for encouragement and continuous support throughout my studies.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I highly acknowledge my supervisor and all other individuals who had significant role towards ensuring that this research proposal was completed. I thank my supervisor for tirelessly working hard without giving up till I submitted this work.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
TOC h u z
DECLARATIONiiDEDICATIONSiiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTivTABLE OF CONTENTSvLIST OF TABLESixLIST OF FIGURESxiABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMESxiiOPERATONAL DEFINATION OF TERMSxiiiABSTRACTxivCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION11.1 Background of the Study11.2 Statement of the Problem61.3 Purpose of the Study71.4 Objectives of the Study71.4.1 General Objective71.4.2 Specific Objective71.5 Research Questions81.5 Significance of the Study81.6 Scope and Limitations8CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW112.1 Introduction112.2 Theoretical Framework112.3 Conceptual Framework122.3.1 Parents’ Level of Education Status152.3.2 Parental Level of income152.3.4 Family Size182.3.4 University Dropout212.4 Empirical Review222.5 Critique of Existing Literature242.6 Research Gaps262.7 Summary28CHAPTER THREE30RESEARCH METHODOLOGY303.1 Introduction303.2 Research Design303.3 Location of the Study303.4 Target Population313.5 Sample Size313.5.1 Sampling Procedure323.6 Research Instruments323.6.1 Questionnaire323.7 Pilot Study343.7.1 Instrument Validity343.7.3 Instrument Reliability343.8 Data Collection Procedure343.9 Data Analysis Techniques353.10 Ethical Considerations35CHAPTER FOUR37DATA ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION374.1 Introduction374.2 Response Rate374.3 General Information on Respondents384.3.1 Gender384.4.2 Parents Level of Education Statements424.5. Influence of Parental Income on Student Dropout Rate424.5.1 Parents /Guardians Occupation444.5.2 Parents /Guardians Occupation Statements464.6 Influence of Family Size on Student Dropout Rate474.6.1 Number of Family Members494.6.2 Family Size Statements494.7 Dropout Rate From Kenyan Public Universities50CHAPTER FIVE53SUMMARY OF THE STUDY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS565.1 Introduction565.2 Summary of the Study Findings565.3. Conclusions of the Study595.4 Recommendations.595.5 Recommendations for Further Research60REFERENCES61APPENDICES66APPENDIX 1: LETTER OF INTRODUCTION66APPENDIX 2: QUESTIONNAIRE67
LIST OF TABLES

Table 3.1 Sampling Frame28
TOC h u z Table 4.1 Response Rate38Table 4.2 Gender38Table 4.3 Age39Table 4.4 Working Experience39Table 4.5 Marital Status40Table 4.6 Parents/Guardian Level of Education41Table 4.7 A crossectional table showing the relationship between parent education and drop-out from university41Table 4.8 A crossectional table showing the relationship between parent education and drop-out from university42Table 4.9 A crossectional table showing the relationship between parent education and drop-out from university43Table 4.10 Parents /Guardians Occupation45Table 4.11. A crossectional table showing the relationship between lack of family income and drop-out from university45Table 4.12. A crossectional table showing the relationship between lack of family income and drop-out from university46Table 4.13. A crossectional table showing the relationship between family income and drop-out from university47Table 4.14. A crossectional table showing the relationship between poverty and drop-out from university47Table 4.15. A crossectional table showing the relationship between poverty and drop-out from university48Table 4.16. Number of Family Members49Table 4.17. A crossectional table showing the relationship between family size and unlikeliness for completion of university education49Table 4.18. A crossectional table showing the relationship between family size andunlikeliness for completion of university education50Table 4.19. A crossectional table showing the relationship between family size factors and drop-out from university51Table 4.20. A crossectional table showing the relationship between lack of basic needs and drop-out from university51Table 4.21. A crossectional table showing the relationship between number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees and drop-out rate from university52Table 4.22. A crossectional table showing the relationship between class attendance and drop-out rate from university53Table 4.23. A crossectional table showing the relationship between absent in class and drop-out rate from university54Table 4.24. A crossectional table showing the relationship between absent in class and drop-out rate from university54Table 4.25. A crossectional table showing the relationship between absent in class and drop-out rate from university55
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2.1: Conceptual Framework 15
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMES
GNP Gross National Product
EFA Education For All
HELB Higher Education Loans Boar ()
UNESCO United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
OPERATONAL DEFINATION OF TERMS
Socio-economic factors are the factors that emanate from societies social and economic way of life that affect the learners schooling (Kimondo, 2007)
ABSTRACT
The main objective of the study is to describe the background characteristics of students that influence the dropout rate from Kenyan public universities. The study specifically aimed to establish the influence of parental level of education on the drop-out of students from public universities in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, determine the relationships between the parental level of income and dropout of students from public universities in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and find out the influence of the family size on drop-out of students from public universities, in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The research adopted a descriptive survey design. The study was carried out at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kiambu County. The target population for the study was 12 staff and 15 students (Year 3 ; 4) at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The study applied a stratified random sampling technique to select a total of 27 people for this study. The main data collection instruments were the questionnaires containing both open-ended and close-ended questions with the quantitative section of the instrument utilizing both a nominal and a Likert-type scale format. A pilot study was carried out to test the reliability and validity of the questionnaires. A descriptive statistics data analysis method was applied to analyze data aided by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to compute responses frequencies, percentage and mean. The findings were presented using tables and charts. The study established that parental level of education and drop-out of students went hand in hand and that the drop-out was influenced by the level of education of the parents. It was noted that parental income influences student drops out i.e. if the parents have no income their children may drop-out of college. The study noted that students dropped out of public universities either from big families or even when all their basic needs are met. This indicated that the family size is an important factor in influencing the dropout rate of students. The study concluded that parental level of education, parental income, and family size. The recommendations were that parents should be encouraged to come up with new strategies of increasing their earnings so as to increase their income and be able to pay fees for their children. Parents should be made aware of the importance of children education through seminars at the University and at the County level. The principals of the schools should come up with strategies to promote completion rate among students in public universities like motivating the students, guiding and counseling them and starting student’s welfare that will look into problems faced by them in college. The government and private agencies should intervene and provide more funds in the universities as bursaries so as to help students from low-income families finish their university education. The Ministry of Health should create awareness on the importance of family planning so that parents can easily manage to educate their children.

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
This section provides an overview of the background of the study, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, objectives of the study, scope of the study, the significance of the study and the conceptual framework of the study. It introduces the main concept of socio-economic factors influencing drop-out of students from Universities in Kenya.

1.1 Background of the Study
According to the Education – Universalium (2012), education can be defined as the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing a person intellectually for mature life. The Education – Universalium further expound that, education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge and skills, as for a profession. According to Murray (1999), education is what takes place in a societal institution of systematic planned learning.

Alvarez et al. regards education as a prime mover for the socio-economic development of countries and one that accounts for as much as 20% of the annual Gross National Product (GNP) of developing nations. According to Edward Lazear, this is considered so because education has been found to improve human productivity by imparting knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour traits collectively referred to as human, social and cultural capital which are essential in producing goods and services. Besides the productive value, education promotes a healthy living, harmonious co-existence, effective citizenship, population control, nutritional adequacy, and good child upbringing (Lazear, 2002).

Education is still considered as a fundamental human right as well as a catalyst for economic growth and human development (World Bank, 2008). In almost all developing countries, school dropout or low completion rates have been a subject of interest to academics, researchers, and policymakers for a long time. There is a general consensus that the school dropout problem has reached epidemic proportions internationally and has become a global problem confronting the education industry around the world (Oghuvbu, 2008). A report by UNESCO (2000) on the state of the world’s children, indicate, that about 130 million children in the developing world are denied their right to education through dropping out. To Maton and Moore (2010), the problem of dropping out should be the concern of every member of society since it has negative consequences at both the individual and social level. As a result, dropout is not a mere problem affecting or impacting an individual but one that affects the entire community as it has been observed that certain dropouts engage in crime (Jamil, et al., 2010).

Education has been cited by early economic experts as the cornerstone for all economic and social stability within any country (World Bank, 2005). Furthermore, education has the power to alleviate poverty all over the world through developing people’s skills that increase personal income and therefore the best way to attain self-reliance in economic growth and development (World Bank, 2004). Education is thus a very basic need and requires good organization so that the set Education For All (EFA) goals may be achieved. However poor organization of EFA resources has made it not to be attained and that’s why the rate of drop-out of the boy-child is on the increase (Mukudi, 2004).

Kamanja (2012), argues that the boy-child of the 21st Century is faced with many problems which unless properly addressed will result in the society losing him. This tremendous boy-child drop-out rate is a global problem and researches are being done to curb it. Although there has been some progress in improving school participation since 1990 after the world conference on Education For All (EFA) in Jomtien there are still high rates of drop-out especially for boys which may be as a result of socio-economic factors in many African countries (Smith, 2011).

Higher education is considered to be one of the main indicators of educational achievement in Kenya and other emerging economies in Africa (Breier, 2010). It is specifically seen as the prerequisite to eradication of poverty in Kenya. However, Kenyan universities face significant challenges in developing students with employability skills. However, lack of employment has not been cited as a contributor to university dropout in Kenya. From a historical point of view, the Kenyan higher education system has expanded significantly since independence in 1963. By 2009, Kenya had 7 public universities, more than 22 private universities, and 12 university colleges. Higher education in public universities in Kenya is funded by the government, Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and parents or guardians. Access to and completion of university education in Kenya is significantly influenced by socio-economic factors. This is depicted by disparities in the fees paid by government-sponsored and privately sponsored students. Njoroge et al., (2016) reveals that students from poor families who fail to get government sponsorship to in higher education have a high risk of attrition and dropout.

According to Kanes (2004), the problem of boy-child drop-out globally is on the rise. He points out that both high and low social classes of people are affected by the drop-out of boys from school. According to his study, 30 % of students in the United States leave school before completing the intended education cycle. A research carried out by Siddhu (2011) found that India has boy dropout rate of 12% while Asia has boy dropout rate of 5%.
In Kenya, girl-child education is elusive. According to Mwangi, (2004) a combination of factors including poverty, disease and regressive cultural practices continue to deny the girl-child her right to education. Besides the introduction of Free Primary Education (FPE), access to education still remaining a wide dream to many Kenyan children especially girls who still find themselves out of school due to a number of reasons (Hunt, 2008). Some of these reasons include; assisting in looking after their young siblings; doing house chores, child marriage, the death of a mother, and looking after the sick member of the family. Some of these young girls are married contrary to their wish and when they try to decline such proposals, they are threatened with death. Such children are usually married off at a young age in quest of dowry from the husbands. The girls continue to lament that because of such setbacks they have been unable to escape from poverty and their parents equally have nothing to show for the dowry received. Some of the parents justify their actions of denying the girls their right to education as a way of preventing them from bringing shame to the family through teenage pregnancy (Hallman and Grant, 2006).

Shiels et al. (2011) indicate that university dropout is a challenge that policymakers, parents, and college administrators across the world have faced in the past few decades. Even though the rate of university dropout varies from college to college, province to province and country to country, policymakers, parents and college administrators need to come together to find practical and long-term solutions. Cuseo (2010) argues that the problem of university dropout is determined by the reasons why students do not complete their higher education. Notably, university dropout can be involuntary. Students who drop-out of college due to a violation of university regulations or administration non-fulfillment often leave involuntarily. Students who drop-out of university due to economic constraints also often leave involuntarily. On the other hand, those who seek to go to another college or to pursue a different course often leave on a voluntary basis. Hunt et al. (2012) demonstrate that university dropout is a concern when students leave involuntarily.

There are some factors which extensively contribute to an increase in students’ dropout. In this respect, the findings of Holcamp (2009) support the argument that some socio-cultural factors highly impact girls’ dropout rate through those factors also contribute to boys’ dropout rate but to a lesser extent. Therefore, we can argue that some particular factors produce a poor educational outcome which consequently increases the dropout rate for girls. Therefore, from this viewpoint, the main objective of this paper is to clarify which factors contribute to the increase in the dropout rates. Dropout rate does not arise through a single factor; it is a combination of several factors. A number of studies have been conducted on students’ dropout issue based on particular regions, societies and cultural perspectives in various parts of the world. In this paper, we accumulate the factors and illustrate a conceptual model of dropout for students which can give further opportunity to researchers to view the relevant factors on students’ dropout issue.
According to Mutwol (2013), overall wastage rates in Kenya range from 30% – 40 %. This is very discouraging because the government uses a huge amount of public expenditure on education. According to the 2011 economic survey report, the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MoEST) takes the lion’s share of the budget. For example, in the financial year 2002 – 2003 the ministry was allocated 64.1 Billion shillings, with this figure rising to 193.3 billion shillings in the financial year 2010 – 2011 (Mudemb, 2013).

Findings from the Ministry of Education Science and Technology reveal that not all the students who enroll in Universities finish with their education cycle (MoEST, 2007). It is thus clear that some students drop-out due to varying individual reasons. It has already been noted that a high number of dropout in the public universities are boys. Moreover, despite the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) disbursement and bursary allocations to the needy students (boys) in public universities, students have continued to drop-out (MoEST, 2007). This massive dropout of boys is thus a cause for alarm.

It is against this backdrop that this investigation seeks to find out the relationship between socio-economic factors and university drop-out rates in the public universities in Kenya. Where the study will seek to answer the following questions: How does a parental level of income contribute to the rate of students drop-out in Kenyan public universities? What is the relationship between the size of the family and the drop-out rate from Kenyan public universities? and; What is the relationship between parental education status and the dropout rate of students from Kenyan public universities? The study will focus on socio-economic factors that influence college dropouts in Public Universities in Kenya. Where, dependent variable, University Drop-out as affected by the independent variables, socio-economic factors which have the elements namely parents’ level of education, parental income level and the size of the family.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
University dropout in Kenya is one of the topical areas in sociology of education that has not been addressed by researchers. The specific socio-economic factors that influence the high rate of dropout of students from universities in Kenya have not been explored by researchers. This is regardless of the close correlation between socio-economic status and student attrition in universities. University dropout impacts negatively on students, families and the Kenyan community at large. This is because inability of students to finish their education impacts negatively on their overall wellbeing and participation in growing the local economy. Lack of research on the socio-economic characteristics that contribute to increase in university dropout in Kenya reveals that policy makers and other stakeholders have no scientific basis for implementation of practical solutions to the problem. Planning for positive educational outcomes of students at the community, university and national level requires access to reliable scientific data. This planning is important because high rates of university dropout impacts negatively on the realization of Kenya’s vision 2030. Research findings indicating the rate of attrition in Kenyan universities is 37% (Njoroge et al., 2016) are worrying. This is because universities that record a high rate of attrition suffer from high rates of dropout (Clinciu, 2013). Poor graduation rates from medical and engineering courses offered in Kenyan universities indicates that the current problem of inadequacy of professionals will persist. Therefore, it was important to undertake the study to investigate the background characteristics of students influencing drop-out rate of public universities in Kenya.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of background characteristics of students on dropout rate from public universities and colleges in Kenya.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
1.4.1 General Objective
The main objective of the study is to describe the background characteristics of students that influence dropout rate from Kenyan public universities.
1.4.2 Specific Objective
The specific objectives of the study are highlighted below.
To establish the influence of parental level of education on the drop-out of students from public universities case study Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

To determine the relationships between the parental level of income and dropout of students from public universities case study Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

To find out the influence of the family size on drop-out of students from public universities, case study Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

1.5 Research Questions
What is the relationship between parental education status and the dropout rate of students from Kenyan public universities?
How does parental level of income contribute to the rate of students’ dropout in Kenya public universities?
What is the relationship between the size of the family and dropout rates of students from Kenyan public universities?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will contribute to an in-depth understanding of socio-economic factors and student characteristics that contribute to the rate of university dropout in Kenya. Through this study, stakeholders, who include the government, universities, the community, and parents, will be able to understand the problem of university dropout from a theoretical framework. The study will also provide a clear picture of the challenges that cause university dropouts from firsthand accounts of students in public universities. This means that the study will provide a realistic view of the problem that will shape the adoption and implementation of practical solutions. More importantly, the study will clarify on a specific student, university, family and community factors that cause an increase in university dropout rate in Kenya with a view of recommended relevant solutions. In addition, the findings of the study will allow stakeholders to determine the changes they need to implement in order to increase the chances of students graduating from universities.

Problematic socio-economic characteristics of students that contribute to the rate of dropout from Kenyan universities will be revealed through the study. This will enable universities to implement effective regulatory and policy frameworks that promote positive social behaviors among students. Furthermore, the study will influence positive policy changes pertaining to the funding of higher education in Kenya. Such changes will enable students with socio-economic challenges to finish their academic programs and graduate. The findings and recommendations of the study will contribute to the realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030. This is because an increase in completion rates will promote the development of the local economy due to the contribution of graduates to positive social and economic change. The study will also fill current gaps in the literature on socio-economic factors and characteristics of students that contribute to high university dropouts in Kenya. Therefore, the research will add into current knowledge on the experiences of university students, the challenges they face and solutions that will enhance their chances of completing their higher education within the stipulated period of time.

1.6 Scope and Limitations
The study will be limited to public universities in Kenya. Notably, the study will focus on assessing the experiences of students in public universities in the context of socio-economic factors. The study will also be limited to government-sponsored students. In this sense, the research will seek to assess the specific socio-economic attributes or characteristics of government-sponsored students in public universities that influence their studies and propensity to complete higher education and graduate. Research data will be collected from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction
The second chapter presents a critical review of empirical literature relevant to the study topic. The focus of the review is recent research literature on background characteristics of students influencing the high rates of dropout among students in Kenyan universities. The literature review begins with an examination of theories related to the topic. The theories examined in the literature review chapter include Human Capital theory and Theories of Poverty: Social Capital and Social Exclusion. A conceptual framework is also developed within the chapter with a purpose of developing relationships between theory and the variables of the study. The variables under review are background characteristics and university dropout. The aforementioned variables are reviewed in relation to current empirical studies on the topic under investigation. The aim of the literature review is to critique and discuss the methods, findings, and analysis of data by the researchers to selected empirical studies. The review also entails linking current literature with the present study. More importantly, research gaps within the reviewed empirical articles are identified as a basis of justifying the present study.

2.2 Theoretical Framework
2.2.1 Human capital theory
This is also known as rotten kid theorem of Gary Becker (1930) which shows that; education training and medical treatment contribute to the accumulation of human capital (Borjas, 2000). According to this theory, investments in human capital increase the likelihoods for economic success. Completion of university education becomes the second step in starting the process of increased human capital investment, after secondary school. By completing university education, people will gain skills and knowledge that will make him perform better in the labour force. This theory emphasizes the importance of investment in human capital such as university education for economic success. Economic success, therefore, comes with completing university education.
Majority of the human capital investments that would lead to economic success must be transferred from parents to their children through education. Parents should empower their children by supporting and paying for their fees in colleges and universities so as to increase human capital investment. Family socio-economic factors such as family size, parental level of education and parental income that may influence student drop-out have much impact on human capital accumulation. Families from low socio-economic class obtain less human capital to pass on to their children hence causing their children drop-out from college. It is therefore concluded that lower family investment in children’s human capital due to a lower socio-economic factor would increase the chances of the student dropping out of public universities in Kenya.

2.2.2 Theories of Poverty: Social Capital and Social Exclusion
Social exclusion and social capital theories are applicable to understanding why specific groups in the society are overrepresented in the poor population (Hickey & Du Toit, 2013). The social capital theory postulates that people who have limited access to resources that enable them to build social relations are likely to be poor. Notably, social capital resources include networks, collective action, trusts, and norms. Estrin, Mickiewicz & Stephan (2013) demonstrate that social capital resources enable members of the community to effectively bargain for socioeconomic resources. People who lack access to professional networks have an increased chance of being unemployed or poor. Communities that do not have platforms for collective action to advocate for a positive change in social policies are often disadvantaged economically. In addition, societies that lack norms, such as equality of citizens tend to have disparities in education, employment, and income (Hickey & Du Toit, 2013). Kenyan families that are socially excluded tend to be poor and unable to cater for needs, such as education and healthcare (Muyanga, Jayne, & Burke, 2013).

Social exclusion refers to the disadvantage some groups in the social experience in the context of access to socioeconomic opportunities, including education, employment, healthcare, and upward social mobility. It occurs when some people in a community or population are denied various rights and socioeconomic opportunities that are available to others (Estrin et al., 2013). People, households and communities that are denied rights such as democratic participation, housing, and civic engagement have an increased risk of being poor. Poverty in the Kenyan society is directly associated with social exclusion. For example, parents who do not have access to education and employment are likely to be poor and unable to afford the education of their children (Mwangi & Ouma, 2012).

In his early work, Rowntree avoided discussing the ultimate causes of poverty and equated such a discussion with an attempt to raise the whole social question. Instead, he simply listed the immediate causes of primary poverty (or earnings ‘insufficient to obtain the minimum necessaries for the maintenance of merely physical efficiency’) as:
1. Death of chief wage-earner.
2. Incapacity of chief wage-earner through accident, illness or old age.
3. Chief wage-earner out of work.
4. The chronic irregularity of work.
5. The largeness of family.
6. The lowness of wage.

Rowntree usefully identified a cycle of poverty – children, young married couples with children and old people running the highest risk of descending into poverty. But otherwise no effort was made to relate these groups to the range and qualifying conditions for membership of the employment system; the differential wage-system and the sources of support for it in institutions and values; and the systems compensating people unable to work or excluded from earning a living.
The division of the population into different social categories and the allocation to some of the relatively low resources and status play a huge role in university dropouts as school is not seen as a priority. The process by which some groups are assigned low resources or status can, of course, be negative, as the outcome of action on behalf of other groups, and not only positive. If they are disqualified from receiving new services established by the state, or new kinds or amounts of resources made possible by a growing economy, they can experience a gradual fall into deprivation without there being any explicit discrimination against them.

2.3 Conceptual Framework
A conceptual framework refers to a tool that is used to organize and analyze relationships between ideas or concepts. In the case of the present study, a conceptual framework can be used to understand relationships between research variables. The use of a conceptual framework will also allow translation of theory into an understanding of the variables of the present study. Notably, background characteristics are the dependent variables of the study while university dropout is the independent variable. The interaction between dependent variables and their impact on university dropouts are illustrated on the conceptual framework on Figure 1 below.
50801172720Parents educational status.

Parents educational status.

2209800127000
3238500287020University dropout.

University dropout.

254017621Parents level of income.

Parents level of income.

2171700114300
213360025400
-3809983820Family size
Family size

Dependent variables Independent variable
Figure 2.1 Conceptual Framework
This study will investigate the socio economic characteristics that are suspected to influence student drop-out from public universities in Kenya. Socio-economic factors are the factors that emanate from societies social and economic way of life that affect the learners schooling (Kimondo, 2007). There are many socio-economic factors that may cause student drop-out of college. They include lack of finances to support education, child labour, home responsibilities, parental ignorance, orphanage, peer pressure, drug abuse, HIV and AIDS, parental level of education, parental income, family size and lack of motivation on the learner’s side. In this study, the socio-economic factors to be investigated are parental income, parental level of education and the family size where the student comes from. Economics in particular as a subject of study appreciates those resources are few but wants are many. This means that most households have scarce resources while the wants are insatiable. Since the cost of education has almost always been high. Under social economic factors, the study will focus on three factors in relation to university dropout namely:
Parental Level of Education
ii). Parental Income
iii) Family Size
2.3.1 Parental level of Education.

Initial academic skills go hand in hand with the home environment where low literacy environment and chronic stress affects the student negatively in his academic skills. If the student is affected negatively his performance also suffers; this may lead to demotivation within the student causing him to drop-out of school (Alkens ; Barbarin 2008). According to Green ; Piel (2015), the socio-economic characteristics of parents or households have a significant influence on the educational attainment of their children. Bronfenbrenner (2009) explains that the background characteristics of parents, such as income and employment influence their parenting style and the influence they have on their children. Hunt et al. (2012) associate absenteeism and missing of lectures among students with poor parenting and the likelihood of dropping out of university. Nonetheless, current literature does not indicate how to identify specific aspects of parental characteristics, such as poverty in line with how they influence students’ attendance in higher learning programs. Studies involving students and members of staff in Kenyan universities indicate that student attrition is related to the level of parental education, poverty and stress (Atwoli, Mungla, Ndung’u, Kinoti, ; Ogot, 2011). However, it is notable that there is no clear distinction between the social, psychological and behavioral factors related to the background characteristics of parents which influence high rates of university dropout in Kenya.
Mbirithi (2014) states that poverty and drug abuse among the most notable socio-economic characteristics associated with poor and uneducated parents in Kenya, which impact negatively on their ability to pay fees for their children. Researchers show a strong correlation between socio-economic characteristics of parents and academic attainment of their children. Abu at al. (2012) suggests that specific factors that are reported to contribute to high rates of university dropout in Kenya, such as stress are not effectively linked to socioeconomic phenomena, such as level of parental education and poverty. However, specific socio-economic characteristics that contribute to the high rates of university dropout in Kenyan universities need to be synthesized and described in the context of specific socio-economic factors or phenomena.
Researchers demonstrate that socioeconomic challenges at home, such as uneducated parents, low income and poor status limit the ability of students to sustain their higher education and often contribute to the decision of dropping out of college (Abu at al., 2012). Notably, the socio-economic characteristics of parents and the likelihood of university dropout among their children are related. For example, lack of education among parents is correlated with negative socioeconomic characteristics, such as drug abuse, poverty and inability to pay for the education of their children. Gill et al. (2011) explain that drug abuse impact negatively on the ability of parents to finance the learning of their children, which contributes to an increase in the rate of university dropout.
Hunt et al. (2012) demonstrate that background characteristics of parents, such as their level of education and income influence their ability to support the education of their children, such as through active participation in the education processes and purchase of academic resources. Surveys involving university students in Kenya indicate that parental support is among the most important factors that influence their ability to complete higher education (Mbirithi, 2014). On the other hand, uneducated parents are unlikely to have meaningful employment and likely to fail their children in terms of paying for academic resources, such as books and educational technologies.
Clinciu (2013) reports qualitative research findings indicating that educated parents are more likely to discuss academic issues with their students than uneducated parents. Therefore, the failure of parents to discuss issues facing their children in university contributes to the high rate of dropout in Kenya. Bronfenbrenner (2009) asserts that uneducated parents less likely to participate in framing the education goals of their children. From the reviewed research literature, it is evident that parents’ background characteristics of parents influence the propensity of students to finish university education. It is however notable that a few researchers dispute the correlation between background characteristics of parents, such as their level of education, and the rate of college dropout among students.

2.3.2 Parental Level of income
Parental income according to Englund, Egeland, & Collins (2008), is an important factor in determining whether access to education is costly. Poor economic growth has led to persistent poverty in Kenya, where about 50% of Kenyans live below poverty line and are therefore unable to access basic needs like food, shelter, health, and education (National Development Plan, 19972001). According to a survey done by the World Bank as stated in the Daily Nation of May 8th, 2012, 51% of Kenyans live below the poverty line. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reviewed this survey on Kenyans living below poverty line and reported in the world factbook on 6th, Dec 2013 that the number of Kenyans living below the poverty line had risen to 60%. Barr and Parrett (2007) said that many people find it hard to support education through the paying of fees and this leads to boy-child drop-out.

Additionally, Santiago et al. (2012) assert that there is a strong association between the socio-economic characteristics of university dropouts and poverty. Bronfenbrenner (2009) demonstrates that the readiness of students for college is influenced by their socio-economic status. The conceptual framework on the above section reveals that socioeconomic status (poverty) is one of the independent variables that influence the high rates of student dropout from universities in Kenya. Poverty is associated with lack of readiness for university education among Kenyan students (Odhiambo, 2016). Researchers describe poverty in Kenya in the context of low socio-economic development and low income in local communities. Longitudinal studies provide a clear picture of the socio-economic characteristics of university students, such as poverty, in line to how they increase the likelihood of dropping out of college or not completing university studies. Longitudinal studies provide reliable data on the topic as they examine demographic, cognitive and behavioral characteristics of students who drop-out of college in the context of the socio-economic development and poverty.

Researchers use interviews to provide comprehensive accounts of the socio-economic experiences that influence high dropout rates in universities. Qualitative data provide a clear picture of the socio-economic indicators of university dropout. However, there is minimal use of regression analysis to determine the explicit relationship between socio-economic indicators, such as poverty and high university dropout rates in Kenya. Regardless of this challenge, researchers agree that poverty has a significant influence on dropout rates in universities (Drucker & Goldstein, 2007). Ongaki & Nyamiobo (2014) reveal that poor and uneducated parents are less likely to be involved in the higher education of their children. Poverty and lack of education have a direct linear relationship with socio-economic status. Therefore, inadequate income in families impacts negatively on the ability of students in Kenyan universities to complete their studies.

Okioga (2013) argues that statistical research data on poverty in Kenya is inconsistent. However, researchers agree that the majority of Kenyan families are poor. Njoroge et al. (2016) assert that it is poverty that is attributed to the high rate of dropout in Kenyan colleges and universities. Abu at al. (2012) demonstrates that families that live below the poverty line are less likely to educate their children. Poverty in Kenya is linked to the high prevalence of unemployment (Kyalo & Chumba, 2011). Okioga (2013) explains that unemployed parents are unable to afford a college education for their children. Therefore, many poor students who enroll in college are unable to finish because their poor parents cannot afford the high cost of learning. On the other hand, poor students who have access to HELB loan and bursaries are likely to complete their university education. Odhiambo (2016) argues that the many challenges Kenyan students face in universities are associated with low income, unemployment, and poverty.
Limited opportunities for employment or funding for business ventures contribute to the low income that is experienced by many families in Kenya and inability to afford college tuition (Oanda, 2013). Socioeconomic inequalities in Kenya are common and are associated with disparities in socio-economic status. The aforementioned disparities translate to the challenges parents face in paying for the college education of their children, leading to high university drop-out (Ongaki & Nyamiobo, 2014). Disparities in income within the Kenyan society are depicted by the extreme wealth that characterizes a small percentage of the population and the extreme poverty that is experienced by the majority. Therefore, challenges in education, such as high university dropout rates will be addressed if disparities in socioeconomic status are tackled first (Kyalo & Chumba, 2011).

2.3.4 Family Size
Having a big family may lead to student drop-out of college especially if the family income is low. Symeou, Martinez & Alvarez (2012) say that many children especially boys from big sized families drop-out of college to work for income to support their families. This comes as a result of parents being unable to provide basic needs to their children and hence force the older children to drop, search for casual jobs and help them (parents) bring up their children in the big family. Once the boys get these casual jobs which they can do after college they feel that they have become adults and therefore drop-out completely from public universities (Oteyo & Kariuki, 2009).
For a big family in these economically constrained times, it is hard to provide the basic needs. This will, therefore, lead students to drop-out so that they can help their parents by providing for their siblings. If getting food is a problem, then how would it be possible to cater for education which is more expensive (Mudemb, 2013). This study is aimed at finding out how the student ‘s family size influences his dropout from a public university in Kenya. Boys from big families may be encouraged by their parents to drop-out of school to go to work to supplement the family income and make it easier for the parents to take care of the young siblings (Symeou et al., 2012). Research done by the Ministry of Education (MoEST) in 2006 showed that as boys grow older their needs increase and if they come from a big family their parents may not be able to provide for their needs and therefore they might drop-out of college to search for casual jobs so as to cater for their own needs. This study will be carried out to establish whether family size is a factor that makes a student drop-out of a public university or whether there are other reasons causing the drop-out.
2.3.4 University Dropout
A dropout refers to a person who leaves school or college before they have finished their studies (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2018). It also refers to children who are enrolled but stay out of school for a long time and do not complete the given cycle in school. In some cases, it may also mean that enrolled students leave school before completing the intended education cycle. The degree of student dropout varies between and within countries (Abuya, Oketch ; Musyoka, 2013). According to Ananga (2011), the student of the 21st century is faced with many problems that make him drop-out from school. This problem of student drop-out worldwide has pushed many people to do research on why students drop-out of school and try to search for ways of curbing the problem.
Santiago et al. (2012) explain that unfavorable socio-economic factors, such as poverty and limited access to livelihood, impact negatively on student engagement in higher education processes, leading to high rates of drop-out. The conceptual framework presented above indicates that university dropout represents the effects or outcomes of specific socio-economic attributes of parents on the ability of students to complete their programs in Kenyan institutions of higher learning. The economic theory is used to understand how the socio-economic factors interact to influence the dropout rates of university students in Kenya. Approaches to development also provide a framework for measuring the specific socio-economic characteristics that hinder the motivation of university to complete their studies. Clinciu (2013) reveals that when the social experiences of university students are undesirable due to poverty and stress, their extrinsic motivation to complete higher education is diminished.
In accordance with Ongaki ; Nyamiobo (2014), the socio-economic characteristics of parents, such as access to livelihood influence the motivation of their children in learning activities. The concept of academic engagement is common in the literature on university graduation rates. Abu at al. (2012) illustrates that the social environment within institutions of higher learning should be designed in a manner that it motivates academic the engagement of learners. Cuseo (2010) asserts that students should be engaged actively in collaborative higher education learning regardless of their divergent socioeconomic backgrounds. However, there is little research on the psychological engagement of university students and how it is related to their socio-economic characteristics and likelihood to graduate. Ndetei et al. (2010) explain that the socio-economic status of students in higher education influences their psychological wellbeing and ability to engage in meaningful learning processes.
Wanzala (2013) demonstrates that the socio-economic challenges that most university students in Kenya, face are attributed to poor lifestyle choices, an ineffective transition from high school and lack of skills on how to use limited financial resources to sustain their higher education. Odhiambo (2016) indicates that transition from high school to university is a notable challenge for many students in Kenya. In campus, students get to interact with peers with different socio-economic characteristics. Hunt et al. (2012) explain that students from poor families should be engaged in effective transition programs to make them socially and psychologically rational in the diverse higher education environment. Even though transition programs are implemented by most Kenyan universities, they are usually short as they often take two weeks (Oanda, 2013). This means that students do not get adequate supports pertaining to how they relate with peers with different socio-economic characteristics and levels of access to livelihood. Ongaki ; Nyamiobo (2014) explain that peer influence and ineffective use of financial resources by students in Kenyan universities is attributed to poor transition into a diverse community.
An analysis of research literature in relation to economic theories shows that the high rate of university dropout in Kenya is mainly attributed to the inability of students from poor backgrounds to afford fees and making of poor lifestyle choices. Economic development theories and approaches are useful in understanding how socio-economic characteristics of parents, families, and communities, such as rate of employment, access to livelihood, lifestyle choices and income influence educational attainment. However, the reviewed development theories are limited in the context of associating economic development with educational outcomes, such as rate of completion in institutions of higher learning. This would be attributed to the focus of theorists on the general development of nations and regions rather than institutions. Intervening variables, such as limited access to government bursaries and scholarships are also directly related to the high rate of dropout among students in Kenyan universities, as was demonstrated by Mwebi ; Simatwa (2013). Notably, a high rate of university dropout leads to a perpetual problem of poverty and low income. For this reason, it is argued that investment in education is a sustainable strategy of mitigating poverty within the developing economies.
2.4 Empirical Review
The specific themes that emerge from the empirical literature on the topic include poverty, number of dependents per household, level of socio-economic development and access to livelihood. The current research literature on the topic is consistent in describing the relationship between background characteristics and high rates of dropout among university students. Notably, family-related factors dominate discourse on university dropouts. Researchers indicate that intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that emanate from the socio-economic environments of university students influence their ability to complete studies and achieve academic success (Breier, 2010). However, most of the reviewed literature was based on longitudinal studies. Dependence on few research designs would have implications related to the validity of reported research findings. It is notable that background characteristics variables of university dropout were empirically tested by the authors of the reviewed literature. However, the specific associations between economic, social, psychological and behavioral factors in the context of university dropouts in Kenyan universities are yet to be established.

For instance, Shiels et al. (2011) applied the development theory to effectively demonstrate how socio-economic characteristics of parents’ influence education and completion rates of students in higher education. Similar studies indicate that extrinsic motivation, including socio-economic conditions of parents and their children, play a leading role of influencing their likelihood of students finishing studies and graduating. The review of the empirical literature indicates that evidence on the impact of socioeconomic factors on university dropout is limited by methodological challenges of measuring student attrition. Variations in research literature would be attributed to the fact that different universities implement unique academic program designs which influence completion rates differently. Nonetheless, the application of theoretical frameworks by researchers on the topic increases the clarity of their discussions. Authors have divergent views on the factors that influence high rates of university dropout within the reviewed empirical literature. This would be attributed to methodological challenges, such as sampling and generalization of findings to the general population of university students.
The reviewed research evidence indicates that the relationship between background characteristics of students and completion rates in higher education is reciprocal. This means that socioeconomic factors interact to influence specific behavioral characteristics among students that increase their risk of dropping out of university. For example, parental support is described by researchers in relation to socio-economic influences, such as level of education and income. Socio-economic factors act as independent variables that interact to influence specific educational outcomes, such the likelihood of students to drop-out of university.

2.5 Critique of Existing Literature
Kyalo & Chumba (2011) present a detailed analysis of the challenges students from poor backgrounds face in their attempt to adjust to the demands of higher education. Researchers specifically reveal that the socio-economic status of students in Kenyan universities influences their social and psychological experiences and ability to adjust to new social environments upon admission to campus. The aforementioned researchers used the University Students’ Questionnaire (USQ) to conduct a survey involving 357 students. They applied causal-comparative research design to collect reliable statistical data on the impact of poor transition into university on students. Similar studies by Abu at al. (2012) reveal that poor adjustment to university life among poor students is among the leading causes of university dropout in Kenya. Kyalo ; Chumba (2011) used statistical measures, such as inferential and differential statistics to provide valid associations between challenges faced by university students in Kenya and their socioeconomic characteristics. Ndetei et al. (2010) recommend that universities in Kenya should implement effective guidance and counseling services that help students to deal with issues related to their socioeconomic challenges, such as stress, depression, and absenteeism.

There is little research evidence on enrollment and dropout rates in Kenyan universities. However, researchers agree that the rate of university dropout is significantly high. Njoroge et al. (2016) conducted surveys in universities within Nairobi County to demonstrate that they experience student attrition rate of 37%. Even though the researchers did not determine the rate of university dropout in the country, they effectively demonstrate that there is a close correlation between student attrition and their risk of dropping out of university. The findings of Njoroge et al. (2016) are consistent with similar studies which indicate that universities in Kenya face the challenge of increasing the level of student engagement due to unfavorable socioeconomic conditions (Mwebi ; Simatwa, 2013). Njoroge et al. (2016) used in-depth interviews and paper-based questionnaires to effectively engage 60 university dropouts and 387 students in a study on the influence of socioeconomic factors on completion rates higher education. Their findings support the hypothesis of the present research as they demonstrate that socioeconomic factors directly influence university dropout rates in Kenya.
According to the reviewed literature, academic outcomes of university students are closely related to the socioeconomic characteristics of their parents and lifestyle choices. Okioga (2013) reports the findings of a survey at Kisii University College which reveal that the commitment of students in higher education, including their ability to persist or to drop-out is influenced by their socioeconomic characteristics. However, many studies on the topic are limited to a single university. This means that findings from some of the reviewed research articles may not be generalized to the general population of students in Kenyan universities. Regardless of methodological limitations, researchers provide reliable evidence indicating that students who experience a sense of constraint in university are likely to drop-out (Breier, 2010). Gitonga, Sinyard ; Gachuiri (2012).

2.6 Research Gaps
Gaps within current research literature are identified with a goal of informing subsequent studies on a specific topic of interest, as illustrated by (Amukowa ; Ayuya, 2013). The review of the literature led to identification of specific gaps in research evidence that would be addressed by the present study. For instance, researchers failed to measure the relationship between the level of socio-economic development and the rate of dropout among university students in Kenya. In addition, the reviewed literature does not indicate how the cost of specific academic programs and access to bursaries influence the high rate of dropout among university students in Kenya. Furthermore, many of the reviewed articles are based on the generalization of findings from single case studies of higher learning institutions in Kenya. The present study will focus on addressing the identified gaps in the literature by measuring specific socioeconomic factors in the context of their influence on the reported high rate of dropout among university students in Kenya. There are also notable research gaps on the impact of intervening factors, such as access to government bursaries influence the rates of university dropouts in Kenya.

2.7 Summary
The review of research literature on the study topic reveals that empirical evidence on the relationship between socio-economic factors and high rates of dropout among students in Kenyan universities is consistent. Researchers agree that socio-economic development challenges, such as poverty and low-income impact negatively on the ability of students to pay for their higher education. The reviewed literature is generally comprehensive and informed by valid research findings. However, specific methodological challenges related to sampling, generalization of findings and data analyses were noted in the reviewed empirical literature. Specific gaps identified in the empirical literature on the topic, such as generalization of findings will be addressed by the present study. The methods used to conduct the present research are designed to improve the validity and reliability of literature on socioeconomic influences of university dropouts in Kenyan universities. The relationship between socio-economic characteristics and the high level of dropout among students in Kenyan universities is effectively understood on the basis of the postulates of development theories and approaches.

CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Introduction
This chapter focuses on the research design, target population, sampling techniques and sample size, research instruments, validity and reliability of research instruments, data collection procedures and data analysis techniques.

3.2 Research Design
The research adopted a descriptive survey design to investigate the socio economic factors influencing student drop-out in public universities at JKUAT Kiambu County. Descriptive survey design was used because the study entails asking a large number of respondents questions in form of questionnaires. The design according to Mugenda ; Mugenda(2012) is a strategic plan that sets out the broad outline and key features of the work to be undertaken in a research study. This means that views, opinions, attitudes, and suggestions for the improvement of educational practices and institution can be collected by using this research design. It was used to explore the relationship between the independent and dependent variables and allowed generalization across the population.

Rumberger ; Rotermund (2012) point out that descriptive survey design is a present-oriented methodology and is used to investigate population by selecting samples to analyze and discover occurrences then data obtained can be used to determine specific characteristics of a group. The major goal of descriptive survey study is to offer the researchers a profile or describe aspects of the point of interest from an individual, organization, industry or other perspectives (Smith, 2012). A study on student drop-out and public universities are applicable to this case. The design is suitable for the study because it is used to explore and evaluate in details the determinants of student drop-out from public universities. The study sought to describe the suggestions, attitudes, and opinions of the respondents on relationships among variables.

3.3 Location of the Study
The study was carried out at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kiambu County. This area is being chosen because the student dropout is high as observed by the researcher (JKUAT’s Registrar’s enrolment report). The researcher had enough information from the Registrar’s office about enrolment and drop-out rate for the years 2012 to 2015.

3.4 Target Population
In their definition of a population, Mugenda & Mugenda (2003) assert that, the population as a particular entity of people, objects or units to which a researcher can reasonably generalize his or her research findings. Additionally; this would include all members of a real or hypothetical set of people, event or objects to which a researcher wishes to generalize the results of the study. The target population for the study was university staff (principals and counsellors) and students (year 3 & 4) who were class representatives at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and technology (JKUAT).

3.5 Sample Size
Begi (2009) defines a sample as a small part of a population studied that represents the total population. Mugenda & Mugenda (2012) recommend the use of a big sample to ensure that it is representative. The researcher targeted 30 students from Year 3 & 4 where a sample of 15 (50%) students were randomly selected. Year 3 and 4 classes were selected because they have stayed at the university longer and are more experienced in providing the relevant information. A total of 12 staff (consisting of principals of schools and counsellors were also targeted to participate in the study). Given that some campuses have more than one school, simple random sampling was used to select 12 out of 24 staff members. The sample size was thus 27 respondents as shown in Table 1.

Table 3.1: Sampling Frame Table
Respondents Target Population Sample Size Percentage
Staff 24 12 50%
Students 30 15 50%
Total 54 27 100%
3.5.1 Sampling Procedure
Simple random sampling was used to determine the departments and schools to be selected from the target population. (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2012) reiterate that simple random sampling is used so that each and every department and school in the target population would have an equal chance of participation.The simple random sampling method was used to select respondents.

3.6 Research Instruments
Data was collected using questionnaires,Document analysis and interviews.

3.6.1 Questionnaire
Data was collected by use of questionnaires. Self-administered questionnaires were filled in by the lecturers, Year 3 and 4 students. The questionnaires have both open and closed-ended questions. The main reason as to why questionnaires were used is that they are easy to administer and economical to use in terms of time and money since they often have standardized answers that make it simple to compute and analyze data (Begi, 2009).
The open-ended questions give the respondent a chance to discuss further on particular issues related to student dropout.Questionnaires have the advantage of being straightforward and an appropriate way of collecting information needed from numerous respondents. It is also a sensible way of finding out about people’s attitude and opinions (Oso ; Onen, 2009). Questionnaires are also suitable for the study because it is appropriate to gather information from an extensive area. Above all it is relatively cheap and a very fast method of collecting data (Smith, 2012)
3.6.2 Document Analysis
Document analysis was based on records obtained from the principals’ offices in the selected departments and schools. These documents include class registers and admission records for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The main purpose of examining these records would be to establish the trend of students’ enrollment in Year one, retention rate in the school and dropout rate in the school in these years. The information gathered was used to support data collected using the questionnaires and interviews.

3.6.3 Interviews
Semi-structured interview schedule was used to collect data from principals and counsellors. This guide assisted the researcher to collect information on the student drop-out from public universities. The researcher used structured interview with all the principals and counsellors where questions were asked and responses recorded. Interviews have an advantage over other tools of data collection because the interviewee can be probed further (Mugenda ; Mugenda 2012). The data obtained from interviews was used to supplement data obtained through questionnaires and document analysis.

3.7 Pilot Study
A pilot study was undertaken to test the validity and reliability of data collection instruments.

3.7.3 Instrument Reliability
Reliability is defined as a measure of the degree to which a research instrument yields consistent results or data after repeated trials (Mugenda ; Mugenda (2012). The researcher will use the test-re-test method to measure the reliability of the developed questionnaires. This was carried out by giving out questionnaires to some respondents and after a lapse of 2 weeks, the same questionnaires were given out to the same group of respondents under study and calculate the correlation between the two responses. The researcher applied the Pearson’s Product Moment correlation to calculate the coefficient of correlation because the assumption is that the first and the second tests will produce a normal distribution of responses.

3.8 Data Collection Procedure
The researcher personally prepared the questionnaires and delivered them personally to the selected departments and schools. The researcher ensured that the staff had the questionnaires in good time and arrange with them the date for collecting them. The researcher visited the identified departments and schools for this research for co-ordination purposes with the respective authorities.

3.9 Data Analysis Techniques
Before analyzing the data, the researcher first checked how the questionnaires were answered and checked if they were completely filled with accurate answers. The researcher checked on the uniformity of the interpretations of the questions to be answered and this would help in the compilation and coding of the data for analysis (Smith, 2012).
The data collected from the field was coded and processed by a computer using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Analyzed data were presented in the form of frequency distribution tables and percentages which was in line with the questionnaires (Nyagah, 2010). Frequency distribution tables and cross-sectional tables were used. Percentages were calculated from the responses out of the total study sample response per item. The hypotheses were tested using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlations.
Permission to collect data in particular departments and schools was sought from the principals of the concerned units. The researcher used interview schedule on the principals and counsellors and also seek permission from them to analyze school entry documents like the registers and the admission books. The principals were also interviewed by the researcher. The interviews will give the researcher a face to face contact with the respondents, allow clarification and give immediate responses.
3.10 Ethical Considerations
Ethical considerations are issues related to the protection of the subjects in the study. A clearance letter from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) through the relevant Dean, School of Communication and Development studies was issued. The respondents’ agreement was pursued by the researcher so as to administer the questionnaires.

During this study, the researcher sought permission from the respondents and allow them to participate voluntarily. The respondents assured of the confidentiality of the information to be given during the study and that their names will remain anonymous throughout the study. The results were communicated following the right procedure without infringing the rights of the subjects.

CHAPTER FOUR
DATA ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION
4.1 Introduction
The chapter presents an analysis of the data that was collected using the tools of research discussed in Chapter three. Chapter four of this research study contains an analysis of findings obtained from the respondents whom the questionnaires were administered. The findings are aimed at establishing the background characteristics of students influencing dropout rates of university students in Kenya. The respondents were senior staff who associate with student dropouts in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and few students who are not in school for one reason or another. All these findings are represented with the help of tables and any additional information of the same.
4.2 Response Rate
The response rate was defined as the proportion of the sample that participated in the study as intended in all research. Out of the 27 questionnaires distributed, 16 were filled and returned. These included 10 questionnaires from students and 6 questionnaires from the counselors and chaplains. These 16 filled questionnaires and the unreturned 11. The respondents who did not return their questionnaires were staff and students who had deferred their studies for various reasons. The response of 16 which was 59% of the total sample size was considered sufficient for data analysis since according to Orodho (2009) a response rate above 30% of the total sample size is acceptable in gathering of sufficient data that could be generalized to represent the opinions of respondents in the target population on the research problem. The Response rate is shown in Table below.

Table 4.1 Response Rate
Response Frequency Percentage
Responded 16 59%
Not Responded 11 41%
Total 27 100%
4.3 General Information on Respondents
This section presents the results of respondents’ personal information
4.3.1 Gender
The study determined the gender of the respondent’s ad as presented in table 4.2 majority 9(56%) were females and 7(44%) were males. This implies that more females participated in the study than males but the gender difference was narrow and hence the gathered data was not biased. More females at 9 gave feedback as compared to 7 males. This is illustrated in Table 4.2 below as shown.

Table 4.2 Gender
Feedback Frequency Percent
Males 7 44%
Females 9 56%
Total 16 100%
4.3.2 Age
The respondents were to indicate their ages and also indicate whether they knew some of their students who had dropped out of school. From the findings, majority of the respondents who were 10 (61%) were aged between 18 -25 years. For the principal, counsellors and chaplains 2 (13%) were between 26-30, 2 (13%) were between 31-40, and 2 (13%) were above 40 years as shown in table 4.3 below.

Table 4.3 Age
Age Frequency Percent
18 – 25 Years 10 61%
26 – 30 Years 2 13%
31 – 40 Years 2 13%
Above 40 years 2 13%
Total 16 100%
4.3.3 Working Experience
On working experience, majority of the respondents were students 10 (62.5%) so this field was not applicable to them.. 6 (37.5%) of the were staff in the university who had access to the information in question.That is 4 (25% ) of the respondents were counsellors and 2 (12.5%) of the respondents had a working experience of 6 to 14 years, followed by 2 (12.5%) of the respondents who had a working experience of 5 years and below, then 1 (6.25%) of the respondents with a working experience of 15 to 19 years and finally 1(6.25%) of the respondents with a working experience of 29 years and above. The respondent’s school counsellors, school chaplains and registrar were 6 in number. They all filled in the questionnaires, an indication that they were interested in the study. They were to show whether they had experience about student drop out. The study also found that 2 respondents, had more experience working with the university students, followed by 2, 1 and finally 1. This is illustrated in the Table 4.4 below.

Table 4.4 Working Experience
Experience (Years) Frequency Percent
5 Years and Below 2 12.5%
6 Years to 14 Years 2 12.5%
15 Years to 19 Years 1 6.25%
20 Years and Above
N/A 1
10 6.25%
62.5%
Total 16 100%
4.3.4 Marital Status
On marital status, majority 7 (44%) of the respondents were married, followed by 6 (38%) of the respondents were Co-habiting, then 2 (12%) of the respondents were single and 1 (6%) of the respondents were divorced and lastly, 0 (0%) of the respondents were widowed. From the above findings we can see seven out of ten were married, two were single whereas one was divorced and six were cohabiting. This demonstrates that most of counselor, chaplain and registrar can easily relate with students because they have families of their own.
Table 4.5 Marital Status
Marital status Frequency Percent
Single 2 12%
Married 7 44%
Divorced 1 6%
Widowed 0 0%
Co-habiting 6 38%
Total 16 100%
4.4 The Influence of Parental Level of Education on Student Dropout Rate
The first objective of this research study was to determine the influence parental level of education has on student drop-out from public universities in Kenya at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Parental level of education was assessed in relation to parents’ level of education or guardians’ level of education.
4.4.1 Parents/Guardian Level of Education
From the findings in table 4.6 majority 9 (56%) of the respondents had attained secondary education, 4(25%) of the respondents had attained primary education, 2 (13%) of the respondents had attained university education while 1 (6%) of the respondents had not joined school. This implies that majority of the respondents’ fathers’ attained secondary education only that may not be a basis for good employment with high pay that can support their children education hence drop-out of their children from the University The father may be the sole breadwinner and therefore supporting his children’s education may be a burden leading to child drop-out from public University in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The study found that the majority of respondent’s mothers 7 had primary education, 6 of the mothers had secondary education, 2 of the respondent’s mothers had university education while 1 of the respondent’s mothers reported that their mothers were illiterate. This implies that majority of the respondents’ mothers had attained primary school education and therefore showed that they may not be good role models for their children hence drop-out.

Table 4.6 Parents/Guardian Level of Education
Parents/Guardian Level of Education Frequency Percent
University education 2 13%
Secondary education 9 56%
Primary education 4 25%
No education 1 6%
Total 16 100%
4.4.2 Parents Level of Education Statements
Further the study requested the respondents to indicate how the agreed on key statements in relation to the influence of parental level of education on the drop-out of students from public universities using a 5 likert scale questionnaire item with Strongly Agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) =4, Neutral (N) =3, Disagree (D) =2 and Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1.
Table 4.7 A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between parent education and drop-out from university
Uneducated parents/guardians rarely educate their children. Children of uneducated parents/guardians are unlikely to complete university education Total
A D A 7 3 10
D 4 2 6
Total 11 5 16
According to the results in table 4.7 majority of the respondents strongly agreed that children from uneducated parents dropped out of college and therefore parental level of education influences child drop-out. These findings concur with Kamanja (2012) where he found out that majority of the uneducated parents/guardians rarely educate their children and children of uneducated parents/guardians are unlikely to complete university education.

Table 4.8 A cross sectional table showing the relationship between parent education and drop-out from university
Most drop-outs come from homes whose parents have not gone to school. Parents/guardians with low level of education i.e. primary education and below influence their children education negatively Total
A D A 8 3 11
D 2 3 5
Total 10 6 16
The results in table 4.8 shows that majority of the respondents agreed that, most drop-outs come from homes whose parents have not gone to school and parents/guardians with low level of education i.e. primary education and below influence their children education negatively. This is because the parents will influence the students’ education negatively since themselves have not completed theirs hence they do not know the importance of education.
Table 4.9 A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between parent education and drop-out from university
Parents/guardians with high level of education i.e. secondary, university education and above influence their children education positively. Students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income Total
A D A 9 3 12
D 3 1 4
Total 12 4 16
The results in table 4.9 shows that majority of the respondents agreed that, parents/guardians high level of education i.e. secondary, university education and above influence their children education positively and lastly majority of the respondents agreed that students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. If parents have completed their education they are more likely to acquire a job earning income and in return are able to fend for their children. But if they don’t complete their education they will not have income to cater for their children’s education. These findings are in agreement with findings by Breier (2010) where he identified that the occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate, high parental income plays a major role in ensuring students complete school and poverty among parents’/guardians affects influences many students to drop-out of universities.

4.5. Influence of Parental Income on Student Dropout Rate
The second objective was to determine the relationships between the parental level of income and dropout of students from public universities in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

4.5.1 Parents /Guardians Occupation
This study intended to establish the influence of parental income on child drop-out. Under parental income the researcher looked at the parent’s/guardians occupation and their income. Parents / guardians occupation means the kind of work they do for a living. The researcher requested the respondents to indicate their parent’s/ guardians occupation so as to assess their income. The results in table 4.10 presets that majority of the respondents 5 (31%) of the respondents indicated that their parents were casual workers, 4 (25%) of the respondents indicated that their parents were farmers, 3 (18%) of the respondents indicated that their parents were salaried, 2 (6%) of the respondents their parents were self-employed while 2 (6%) indicated that their parents were not employed at all. This shows that their wages were gotten from casual work which may not be enough to meet all the basic needs let alone education. These paltry earnings from casual work may not be enough to support education hence student drop-out.

The respondents were also requested to indicate their mothers’ occupation. Majority of the respondents 7 indicated that their mothers had no employment, 4 of the respondents indicated that their mothers were casual workers, 2 of the respondents indicated that their mothers were farmers, 2 indicated that their mothers were self- employed and 1 of the respondents’ mothers were salaried. This implied that most of mothers were housewives and were not earning and probably depended on the fathers’ income. This explains why mothers could not support their children education due to lack of resources and income opportunities hence student drop-out.
In conclusion this study therefore revealed that lack of resources and income opportunities among parents is limiting their capacity of educating their children, hence drop-out from college. The father being the sole breadwinner finds it a burden to provide for the family with basic needs and therefore takes education as an option hence student drop-out in public universities at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Table 4.10 Parents /Guardians Occupation
Occupation Frequency Percent
Self-employed 2 13%
Salaried 3 18%
Farming 4 25%
Casual 5 31%
None 2 13%
Total 16 100%
4.5.2 Parents /Guardians Occupation Statements
Further the study requested the respondents indicate how the agreed on key statements in relation to the influence of parental income on the drop-out of students from public universities using a 5 Likert scale questionnaire item with Strongly Agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) =4, Neutral (N) =3, Disagree (D) =2 and Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1.
Table 4.11. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between lack of family income and drop-out from university
The occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate. High parental income goes hand in hand with completion of school. Total
A D A 8 4 12
D 3 1 4
Total 12 4 16
Table 4.11 shows that majority of the respondents agreed that the occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate. Respondents also agreed that high parental income goes hand in hand with completion of school. These findings are in agreement with findings by Breier (2010) where he identified that the occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate, high parental income plays a major role in ensuring students complete school and poverty among parents’/guardians affects influences many students to drop-out of universities.

Table 4.12. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between lack of family income and drop-out from university
Students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. There is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop-out of college before completing their university education Total
A D A 7 4 11
D 4 1 4
Total 11 5 16
Table 4.12 shows that majority of the respondents agreed that students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Respondents also agreed that there is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop-out of college before completing their university education. These responses implied that parental income influences student drop-out i.e. if the parents have no income their children may drop-out of college.
Table 4.13. A cross sectional table showing the relationship between family income and drop-out from university
Students from well up families have little chances of dropping out of college. Students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university Total
A D A 9 3 12
D 3 1 4
Total 12 4 16
Table 4.13 shows that majority of the respondents agreed that students from well up families have little chances of dropping out of college and students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university. This shows that a student can be from a well up family but still dropout of school due to irresponsibility like not attending class and this may influence dropout.
Table 4.14. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between poverty and drop-out from university
Poverty among parents/guardians affects learning and contributes to an increase and the rate of drop-out in universities. The number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees
Total
A D A 9 3 12
D 3 1 4
Total 12 4 16
Table 4.14 shows that majority of the respondents agreed that poverty among parents’/guardians affects learning and contributes to an increase and the rate of drop-out in universities and the number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees
Table 4.15. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between poverty and drop-out from university
Factors such as inability to pay fees, lack of help loans and unemployment leads to drop-out Students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Total
A D A 9 3 12
D 3 1 4
Total 12 4 16
Table 4.15 shows that majority of the respondents agreed that factors such as inability to pay fees, being denied HELB Loans and unemployed parents negatively affected students to complete university education and students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income.

4.6 Influence of Family Size on Student Dropout Rate
The third objective of this study was to find out the influence of the family size on drop-out of students from public universities, in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
4.6.1 Number of Family Members
The study asked respondents to indicate the number of family members and the results are as presented in table 4.16. Table 4.16 shows that majority of the respondents 8 (50%) had between 2-4 members, 6 (38%) had between 5-7 members while 2 (12%) had more than 7 members. This implies that most families who have their children in JKUAT have between 2-4 members which are relatively not a big number. Family size therefore influences student drop-out from public universities
Table 4.16. Number of Family Members
Number of Family Members Frequency Percent
Between 2-4 8 50%
Between 5-7 6 38%
Above 7 2 12%
Total 16 100%
4.6.2 Family Size Statements
Further the study requested the respondents indicate how the agreed on key statements in relation to the influence of family size on the drop-out of students from public universities using a 5 likert scale questionnaire item with Strongly Agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) =4, Neutral (N) =3, Disagree (D) =2 and Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1.
Table 4.17. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between family size and unlikeliness for completion of university education
In big size families of 5-7 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education Students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Total
A D A 7 4 11
D 4 1 5
Total 11 5 16
Table 4.17 indicates that majority of the respondents agreed that in big size families of 5-7 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education. Respondents also agreed that students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. This implies that students dropped out of public universities either from big families or don’t get all their basic needs are met. These findings are in line with findings by Mwangi, and Ouma (2012) where they noted that in big family size with family members above 5 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education than in a small family size of 4 children and below.

Table 4.18. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between family size and unlikeliness for completion of university education
In small size families of 2-4 children there is more likeliness for university education completion. Students from well up families have little chances of dropping out of college. Total
A D A 11 2 13
D 3 3
Total 14 2 16
Table 4.18 indicates that majority of the respondents agreed that in small size families of 2-4 children there is more likeliness for university education completion. Respondents also agreed that students from well up families have little chances of dropping out of college. These findings are in line with findings by Mwangi, and Ouma (2012) where they noted that in big family size with family members above 5 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education than in a small family size of 4 children and below.

Table 4.19. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between family size factors and drop-out from university
Frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings, history of elder siblings dropping out and absenteeism to help parents with work affects drop-out Poverty among parents/guardians affects learning and contributes to an increase and the rate of drop-out in universities. Total
A D A 8 2 10
D 4 2 6
Total 12 4 16
Table 4.19 indicates that majority of the respondents agreed that factors such as frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings, history of elder siblings dropping out and absenteeism to help parents with work influence university dropout in one way or another. Respondets also agreed that poverty among parents’/guardians affects learning and contributes to an increase and the rate of drop-out in universities. Mbirithi (2014) also noted that factors such as frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings, history of elder siblings dropping out and absenteeism to help parents with work.
Table 4.20. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between lack of basic needs and drop-out from university
There is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop-out of college before completing their university education Students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Total
A D A 10 10
D 3 3 6
Total 13 3 16
Table 4.20 indicates that majority of the respondents agreed there is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop-out of college before completing their university education. Respondents also agreed that students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income.

4.7 Dropout Rate From Kenyan Public Universities
Further the study requested the respondents indicate how the agreed on key statements in relation to the drop rate out of students from public universities using a cross sectional table questionnaire item with Strongly Agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) =4, Neutral (N) =3, Disagree (D) =2 and Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1.
Table 4.21. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees and drop-out rate from university
The number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees. Students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university Total
A D A 10 10
D 4 2 6
Total 14 2 16
Table 4.21 thus presents that majority of the respondents agreed the number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees. Respondents also agreed that students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university. These findings concur with Gitonga, Sinyard and Gachuiri (2012) where they identified that the number of students admitted in some courses higher than the number of students who complete degrees.

Table 4.22. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between class attendance and drop-out rate from university
Table 4.22 presents that majority of the respondents strongly agreed that students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university. These findings concur with Gitonga, Sinyard and Gachuiri (2012) where they identified that the number of students admitted in some courses higher than the number of students who complete degrees, students who rarely attend classes and students who are regular absentees in class especially in engineering courses are likely to drop from university.

Table 4.23. A cross sectional table showing the relationship between absent in class and drop-out rate from university
Students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university. Factors under family size may affect dropout one way or another.

Frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings.

History of elder siblings dropping out.

Absenteeism to help parents with work Total
A D A 11 11
D 4 1 5
Total 15 1 16
Table 4.23 presents that majority of the respondents agreed that students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university. Respondents also agreed that factors such as frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings, history of elder siblings dropping out and absenteeism to help parents with work
Table 4.24. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between absent in class and drop-out rate from university
Students who are regularly absent rarely complete their degrees. Students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Total
A D A 8 3 11
D 2 3 5
Total 10 6 16
Table 4.24 presents that majority of the respondents agreed that students who are regularly absent rarely complete their degrees and students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Respondents also agreed that students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. The students who are absent may be involving in white collar jobs so as to get income to pay for their needs since they come from families with little income.
Table 4.25. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between absent in class and drop-out rate from university
Students who fail to complete class work in time are likely to drop-out of university. The occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate. Total
A D A 9 4 13
D 3 3
Total 12 4 16
Table 4.25 presents that majority of the respondents agreed that Students who fail to complete class work in time are likely to drop-out of university. Respondents also agreed that the occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate. Some of the student may not finish classwork in time due to personal reason or unavoidable reasons such as sorting ways to meet their needs. The occupation of parents does affect because if the parents or guardians are providing pocket money for the students then they will have enough time to stay in school and do school work. But if they sort for ways to earn income because their parents are not providing due to lack of work then they may fail to complete their school work due lack of time.
Table 4.26. A cross-sectional table showing the relationship between absent in class and drop-out rate from university
The number of students graduating is lower that the number of students admitted There is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop-out of college before completing their university education.

Total
A D A 9 4 13
D 3 3
Total 13 3 16
Table 4.26 presents that majority of the respondents agreed that the number of students graduating is lower that the number of students admitted. Respondents also agreed that there is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop-out of college before completing their university education. The study hence concluded that students’ dropout rate is determined by the number of students admitted, class attendance, absenteeism in class, class work completion and the number of students graduating.

CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Introduction
This chapter summarizes the study and presents conclusions and recommendations as well as suggestions for further research.

5.2 Summary of the Study Findings
The research sought to investigate the influence of background characteristics of students on dropout rate from public universities and colleges in Kenya, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The following objectives were the focus of the study. i) To establish the influence of parental education status on the drop out of students from public universities in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. ii) To examine the relationships between the level of income of parents and dropout of students from public universities in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and iii) To find out the influence of the family size on drop out of students from public universities, in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Data was collected using questionnaires as the main research instrument and were administered to the Counsellors, Chaplains, students. The collected data was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings were presented by use of frequency and tables.

5.2.1. Parental Level of Education and Dropout Rates
The first objective for the study was to examine the influence of parental level of education on student drop out from public universities and colleges in Kenya at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The study findings indicated that parental level of education was major factor contributing to the drop out of students from public universities. The study established that uneducated parents/guardians rarely educate their children, children of uneducated parents/guardians are unlikely to complete university education and most drop outs come from homes whose parents have not gone to school. The study further noted that parents/guardians with low level of education ie primary education and below influence their children education negatively hence leading to high dropout rates. This implies that parents who have no higher education qualifications are unlikely to actively participate in the education process of their children and even have the ability to finance their children education.
Finally the study found out that parents/guardians with high level of education ie secondary, university education and above influence their children education positively and this led to low dropout rates amongst students of highly educated parents. This is because parents who are educated are likely to have better knowledge on education and also able to get better jobs hence higher income. The study found out that majority of the respondents agreed that children from uneducated parents dropped out of college and therefore parental level of education influences child drop out. These findings concurs with Kamanja (2012) where he found out that majority of the uneducated parents/guardians rarely educate their children and children of uneducated parents/guardians are unlikely to complete university education.

5.2.2. Parental level of Income and Dropout Rates
The second objective was to determine the relationships between the parental level of income and dropout of students from public universities in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Findings from the study indicated that parental level of income was major factor that influenced dropout of students from public universities. The study found out that parental level of income had a major role in determining dropout rates of students from public universities. The study noted that majority of the respondents agreed that parent’s/guardians occupation determined parent income levels and this influenced the parents ability to finance university education. It was also identified that majority of the parents were self employed in micro business enterprises and others were casual workers and thus their wages were not enough to meet all the basic needs let alone education and this led to high student drop out.
The study found out that majority of the respondents agreed that the occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate. Respondents also agreed that high parental income goes hand in hand with completion of school. These findings are in agreement with findings by Breier (2010) where he identified that the occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate, high parental income plays a major role in ensuring students complete school and poverty among parents/guardians affects influences many students to drop out of universities.

The study findings indicated that majority of the respondents agreed that students who drop out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Majority of the respondents also agreed that there is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop out of college before completing their university education. These responses implied that parental income influences student drop out i.e. if the parents have no income their children may drop out of college. It was also noted that majority of the respondents agreed that students from well up families have little chances of dropping out of college and students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university. Findings from the study indicated that majority of the respondents agreed that poverty among parents/guardians affects learning and contributes to an increase and the rate of drop out in universities and the number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees Finally the study findings showed that majority of the respondents agreed that factors such as inability to pay fees, being denied HELB Loans and unemployed parents negatively affected students to complete university education and students who drop out of college come from homes where parents have little income.

These findings implies that parental income influences student drop out i.e. if the parents have no income their children may drop out of college. In families where the parent or guardian are working and getting some income they can be able to pay the students fee. If they lack employment they cannot be able to pay for the students fee. ; high parental income goes hand in hand with student drop out and that students who drop out of school come from homes whose parents have little income, students from well up families have little chances of dropping out from college and students whose parents are financially stable drop out of college because they do not see the need for education since they are provided with all the basic needs. It concludes that the parents income level is an important factor to ensure student education completion.

5.2.3 Family Size and Dropout Rates
The third objective of this study was to find out the influence of the family size on drop out of students from public universities, in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The study findings indicated that family size was major background characteristics that influenced high dropout rate of students from public universities. The study findings showed that majority of the respondents agreed that in big size families of 5-7 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education. Majority of the respondents also agreed that students who drop out of college come from homes where parents have little income. This implies that students dropped out of public universities either from big families or even when all their basic needs are met. These findings are in line with findings by Mwangi, and Ouma (2012) where they noted that in big family size with family members above 5 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education than in a small family size of 4 children and below.

Findings from the study also indicated that majority of the respondents agreed that in small size families of 2-4 children there is more likeliness for university education completion. Respondents also agreed that students from well up families have little chances of dropping out of college. These findings are in line with findings by Mwangi, and Ouma (2012) where they noted that in big family size with family members above 5 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education than in a small family size of 4 children and below.

The study further noted that majority of the respondents agreed that factors such as frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings, history of elder siblings dropping out and absenteeism to help parents with work. Respondents also agreed that poverty among parents/guardians affects learning and contributes to an increase and the rate of drop out in universities. Mbirithi (2014) also noted that factors such as frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings, history of elder siblings dropping out and absenteeism to help parents with work and looking for casual jobs. Most of the student therefore ends up being much committed in casual jobs and other income generating activities which forces them to miss classes and this influences them to drop out of school.
Finally the study findings indicated that majority of the respondents agreed there is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop out of college before completing their university education. Respondents also agreed that students who drop out of college come from homes where parents have little income. This indicates that family size determines the ability of parents to provide all students basic needs since there is a likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met to drop out of college before completing their university education. This implies that students dropped out of public universities either from big families or even when all their basic needs are met. This indicates that the family size is an important factor in influencing dropout rate of students.

5.2.4 Dropout Rates
The study further determined the major factors that indicate dropout rate from Kenyan public universities. Findings from the study showed that majority of the respondents agreed that high dropout rate was determined by when the number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees. It was also identified that lack of class attendance led to high dropout rate since respondents agreed that students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university, it was also noted that absenteeism was key factor that determined the likelihood of high drop out rate since respondents agreed that students who are regularly absent rarely complete their degrees. The study further noted that lack of class work completion determined dropout rate since students who fail to complete class work in time are likely to drop out of university and finally the study found out that the number of students graduating determined dropout rate since majority of the respondents agreed that when number of students graduating is lower that the number of students admitted there is a high drop out rate from Kenyan public universities. These findings concurs with Gitonga, Sinyard and Gachuiri (2012) where they identified that the number of students admitted in some courses higher than the number of students who complete degrees. These findings concurs with Gitonga, Sinyard and Gachuiri (2012) where they identified that the number of students admitted in some courses higher than the number of students who complete degrees, students who rarely attend classes and students who are regular absentees in class especially in engineering courses are likely to drop from university.
5.3. Conclusions of the Study
From the findings of this study, the study concluded that: Parental level of education, parental income and family size, influence student drop out from public universities in Kenya. The study also concluded that parental level of education is a major factor contributing to the drop out of students from public universities. This is because children of uneducated parents/guardians are unlikely to complete university education and most drop outs come from homes whose parents have not gone to school. Parents/guardians with high level of education ie secondary, university education and above influence their children education positively and this led to low drop out rates amongst students of highly educated parents.

The study then concluded that parental level of income have a major role in determining dropout rates of students from public universities since high parental income goes hand in hand with completion of school and students who drop out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Further it was concluded that family size IS major background characteristics that influences high dropout rate of students from public universities, since family size determines the ability of parents to provide all students basic needs since there is a likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met to drop out of college before completing their university education.

Finally the study concluded that some of parents of students of JKUAT live below poverty line, a factor which pushes many students drop out from public universities and colleges in Kenya. This is shown by the factor that Most of the mothers had no income at all for they were not working hence conclusion that these parents live below poverty line. Majority of the parents attained secondary and primary education only making them unable to get well-paying jobs to support their children education. The students are very much hit by drop out problem and therefore the government should intervene to save the situation.

5.4 Recommendations.

The following are the recommendations based on the findings and conclusions of this study:
The government should encourage parents with low education backgrounds to attend adult education programmes in order to improve the parental level of education which is a major factor contributing to the drop out of students from public universities. The parents should be made aware of the importance of children education through seminars at the University and at the County level.
The parents should be encouraged to come up with new strategies of increasing their earnings so as to increase their income and be able to pay fees for their children. This can be communicated during parents/ guardians seminars in the school. To increase their income they can be trained on practicing alternative farming. The principals of the schools should come up with strategies to promote completion rate among students in public universities like motivating the students, guiding and counseling them and starting student’s welfare that will look into problems faced by them in college.
The Ministry of Health should create awareness on the importance of family planning so that parents can easily manage to educate their children. The government and private agencies should intervene and provide more funds in the universities as bursaries so as to help students from low income families finish their university education.
5.5 Recommendations for Further Research
Based on the findings of the study the researcher suggests the following for further research. A similar study on the socio-economic factors influencing student drop out from public universities and colleges should be done in other regions within Kenya since the study at hand concentrated on Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology only. Other socio-economic factors besides family size, parental level of education and parental income should be studied to check if they have influence on student drop out from public universities. A study on environmental influence on student drop out from Kenyan public universities should be carried out at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

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APPENDICES
APPENDIX 1: LETTER OF INTRODUCTION
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P.O. Box 1111-00100, Nairobi,
12th July 2018.
Dear Respondents,
I am an Undergraduate Student in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) pursuing a Degree in Communication and Development Studies. As part of the requirements for this degree I am carrying out a research on the Socio Economic Characteristic Background of Students Influencing Drop-out of Public Universities in Kenya.

You have been sampled for the study and you have been selected as a respondent. Please answer the questions as truthfully as possible.
The results of this study will be used for academic purposes only. I request for your cooperation and support. Any information collected will be treated with a lot of confidentiality.
Yours faithfully,
Maurel Wambua.

APPENDIX 2: QUESTIONNAIRE
Instructions
a) Please answer all the questions in the spaces provided after each question by ticking ( ) in the appropriate box.
b) The information you will give will be treated with a lot of confidentiality
SECTION A: Background information
1. Gender (Tick as appropriate)
Male
Female

2. Age bracket
18-25years
26-30 years
31-40 years
Above 40 years
3. Experience of working with university students.

5 years and below
6 – 15 years
15 – 20 years
20 years and above
N/A
4. Marital status
Single
Married
Divorced
Widowed
Cohabiting
SECTION B: PARENTAL LEVEL OF EDUCATION.
Please indicate by ticking the degree to which you agree with each of the following statements.

Indicate the level of education of parents/ Guardian.
Higher education
University education
Secondary education
Primary education
No education
RATING SCALE
Strongly
Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly
Agree
1 2 3 4 5
Uneducated parents/guardians rarely educate their children.

Children of uneducated parents/guardians are unlikely to complete university education. Most drop-outs come from homes whose parents have not gone to school. Parents/guardians with low level of education ie primary education and below influence their children education negatively. Parents/guardians with high level of education ie secondary, university education and above influence their children education positively. .

Kindly provide any information that you may wish to share in regards to the influence of background characteristics of parents/guardians in regards to student drop-outs
………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
SECTION C: Parental level of income.

Please indicate by ticking the degree to which you agree with each of the following statements.

Indicate Parents /guardians occupation
Self-employed
Salaried
Farming
Casual
None
RATING SCALE
Strongly
Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly
Agree
1 2 3 4 5
The occupation/profession of the parent/guardian affects student dropout rate. High parental income goes hand in hand with completion of school. Students who drop-out of college come from homes where parents have little income. Students from well up families have little chances of dropping out of college. Poverty among parents/guardians affects learning and contributes to an increase and the rate of drop-out in universities. Do this factors affect the completion of university education negatively.

Inability to pay fees
Being denied HELB Loans.

Unemployed parents. Kindly provide any information that you may wish to share in regards to the influence of background characteristics of parents/guardians in regards to student drop-outs
………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………
SECTION D: FAMILY SIZE
Please indicate by ticking the degree to which you agree with each of the following statements.

Indicate the number of family members
Below 2
Between 2-4
Between 5-7
Above 7
RATING SCALE
Strongly
Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly
Agree
1 2 3 4 5
In big size families of 5-7 children there is more unlikeliness for completion of university education. In small size families of 2-4 children there is more likeliness for university education completion. The following factors under family size may affect dropout one way or another.

Frequent absenteeism to help in looking after siblings.

History of elder siblings dropping out.

c) Absenteeism to help parents with work. There is likelihood of students who do not have all their basic needs met drop-out of college before completing their university education. Kindly provide any information that you may wish to share in regards to the influence of background characteristics of parents/guardians in regards to student drop-outs
………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………
SECTION D: DROPOUT RATE FROM KENYAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
Do you know students who have dropped out of university
Yes ( )
No ( )
If so give a reason why they dropped out
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Could you indicate how you agreed on key statements in relation to the drop rate out of students from public universities using a 5 likert scale questionnaire item with Strongly Agree (SA) = 5, Agree (A) =4, Neutral (N) =3, Disagree (D) =2 and Strongly Disagree (SD) = 1. Table 4.7 thus presents that
RATING SCALE
Strongly
Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly
Agree Strongly
Disagree
1 2 3 4 5 1
The number of students admitted is higher than the number of students who complete degrees Students who rarely attend classes are likely to drop from university Students who are regularly absent rarely complete their degrees Students who fail to complete class work in time are likely to drop-out of university The number of students graduating is lower that the number of students admitted

x

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