ERIC Number: ED355901
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Study Examines Price and Quality in Higher Education. Research in Brief.
Gilmore, Jeffrey L.; Price, Kathleen C., Ed.
This research brief summarizes the findings of a recently completed study entitled "Price and Quality in Higher Education," by Jeffrey L. Gilmore. The report examines "two unquestioned assumptions" now operating in American higher education: that there is a positive correlation between cost and quality in higher education and that colleges have a positive impact on student learning and progression toward a degree. Using data on 593 private liberal arts colleges from the 1985-86 academic year, the study first assesses the relationships between tuition and traditional measures of institutional quality: selectivity, reputation, financial and physical resources, curricular diversity, and student-faculty ratios. The study concluded that a significant, positive correlation exists between tuition and such indicators. However, the analysis also revealed a wide range of quality within each price class. An effort to measure the effects of institutional finances, characteristics, and program on students' education progress showed that although a combination of student and institutional characteristics explained more than 60 percent of college effectiveness in promoting students' educational progress, price alone had a significant direct effect on student outcomes. Price was found to have the second highest overall impact on college completion with student ability ranking first. (JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Note: For the complete report summarized here, see ED 326 146.