ERIC Number: ED339334
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-3
Reference Count: N/A
Student Financial Aid and Choice of Undergraduate Major. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Zito, Eileen H.
This study evaluated whether the use of educational loans has an impact upon student choice of majors. In addition, the study demonstrated that the statistical technique of two-stage least squares can be appropriately used with educational data when reciprocal causation exists in the theoretical model. It was hypothesized that, since a majority of older students return to school for economic reasons, that not only would they be more likely to be in majors with higher initial salaries, but that they would also be more sensitive to educational loans than their younger peers. Data for this analysis were obtained from the National Postsecondary Aid Study national database compiled by the National Center for Educational Statistics. Of the approximately 58,000 students included in the database, only 22,840 students satisfied the criteria for this study. The criteria was that only undergraduate students in four-year colleges and universities who are U.S. citizens be included in the sample. Among the findings was that older students who received no financial aid were more likely to choose majors with higher starting salaries compared to traditional students without aid. There was also evidence that older students with educational loans were also more likely to be in majors with greater economic payoffs than other students. The interaction of age and debt was statistically significant for both dependent and independent men, but not for females. It was determined that older, independent students try to avoid becoming stuck at their previous economic level by counterbalancing their new debt with a potentially higher income in the future. Contains 41-item bibliography. (GLR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Boston, MA, October 31-November 3, 1991).