Student dropout…is a multi-causal problem that requires multiple partial solutions.
There are two questions that anyone approaching retention issues is bound to ask because the answers seem beguilingly obvious. If we knew who was most likely to drop out we could either ensure that they didn't start study until ready or they could be targeted for extra support. If we knew why students dropped out then we could amend those areas of the institution's policy and procedures that might affect that decision.
In practice neither question is susceptible to a simple answer or consequent change in institutional strategies.
There may be at least two ways of answering this question. One will be in quantitative terms-looking at measurable characteristics of withdrawing students such as previous qualifications, sex and so on. Another answer will be qualitative, looking at less measurable characteristics such as personality. But neither gives very decisive answers.