Retention and completion have become some of the most salient issues facing higher education institutions. Students’ ability to pay influences both access and completion, and the access agenda in the United States must change to include both of these aspects of college attendance. Eliminating student departures and increasing completion is a priority for many institutions. The higher education community has spent considerable resources on improving access and studying how financial aid influences enrollment decisions. However, most of the research focuses on the front end of the enrollment cycle. This study focuses on how access can move to completion with the use of financial aid. To provide clarity around the complexities of financial aid, the study offers an understanding of the influence of aid from a student’s perspective. Through a qualitative methodology using semi-structured personal interviews with low- and middle-income students, the study allowed the researcher to discover the more personal in-depth experiences of students and the influence of financial aid on their persistence toward a degree. Personal experiences provide an opportunity to comprehend the complex nature of financial aid and its impact on retention and completion from the perspective of these students. Understanding the influence of financial aid on persistence for low-income and middle-class families is important to the higher education community because it will help financial aid administrators and institutions to develop financial aid awarding policies that will have the greatest effect on retention and graduation rates.
|Commitee:||Brinkman, Paul, Garland, Peter|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Higher Education Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Finance|
|Keywords:||Financial aid, Policy, Retention|
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