An Investigation of Factors that Influence the Academic Performance of Undergraduate Students of Public Universities in Ghanaedit
The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which background characteristics, students’ attitudes to learning, and students’ use of social media influence academic performance among undergraduates in Ghana. It was hypothesized that previous performance, hours of study, family income, having a personal study schedule, attending lectures regularly, participating in class discussions, taking notes during lectures, use of alcohol, and use of social media, among other factors will influence a student’s grade point average (GPA). Questionnaires were distributed to 1,500 students across four universities, of which 626 completed questionnaires were returned (N = 626). Correlation analysis showed that only hours of study was strongly related to GPA (r = .1, p = .05). Independent-samples t tests showed that students who had personal study schedules, attended lectures regularly, participated in class, took notes, chatted on Facebook, did not use alcohol, regarded a higher GPA as important, and who lived Off-campus, respectively, had a higher mean GPA. The study has contributed to the literature on factors that affect undergraduate academic performance in Ghana by investigating the effect of several demographic and attitudinal factors on student GPA. The findings indicate that to enhance academic performance it is important to influence students’ attitudes and dispositions toward learning, including lecture attendance, participation in class, self-initiated or independent learning, use of social media, and abstinence from alcohol.