This study had two primary objectives. First, this study sought to create a classification system to which publicly-controlled Carnegie classified Master's Colleges and Universities could be grouped according to geographical service (rural-serving, suburban-serving, or urban-serving. Second, once the classification system was developed and applied, the study, using descriptive statistics, sought to describe selected characteristics of these institutions. The variables chosen to describe these institutions included membership status in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), student unduplicated headcount enrollments, number of degrees awarded, student race/ethnicity, student financial aid, and student loan indebtedness.
Using population data from the 2000 United States decennial census, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), this study had four major findings. First, most (94%) of publicly-controlled Carnegie classified Master's Colleges and Universities are participating members of AASCU. Second, publicly-controlled Carnegie classified Master's Colleges and Universities are approximately 61% rural-serving, 21% suburban-serving, and 17% urban-serving. Of the 2.5 million students enrolled during academic year 2006-07, 50% were enrolled in a rural-serving institution, while 25% and 24% were enrolled in suburban-serving and urban-serving institutions, respectively. Third, publicly-controlled Carnegie classified Master's Colleges and Universities enroll and graduate a very diverse student body. In total, students at public master's institutions are 61% White, 13% Black, and 11% Hispanic. While this is true in total, significant minority enrollments were observed from the rural, suburban, and urban subclasses. Fourth and finally, student financial aid at public master's institutions has not kept pace with the need for student loans. In nearly every subclass, loans represent the single largest percentage of financial aid. Regretfully, the average loan taken out by a student at a public master's institution is nearly $4,000. Moreover, the suburban-serving sector of public master's institutions posts the highest loan figure of $4,474.
The study concludes with recommendations for policy, practice, and future studies. Discussions of the findings with an overall relevance to the future of higher education in the 21st century are offered.
|Advisor:||Katsinas, Stephen G.|
|Commitee:||Adams, Natalie G., Hardy, David E., Ostar, Allan W., Schumacker, Randall E., Zhao, Chun-Mei|
|School:||The University of Alabama|
|School Location:||United States -- Alabama|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Geography, Higher Education Administration|
|Keywords:||Classification systems, Financial aid, Headcount, Master's colleges and universities, Student financial aid, Student loans|
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