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ERIC Number: ED516335
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 199
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-4135-3
College Choice and College Success: The Role of Individuals, Institutions and Policy
Goble, Lisbeth J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northwestern University
Choosing a college is one of the first important decisions that many young adults undertake. Popular media suggests how students should find an appropriate college based on traditional practices (Hallet, 2008; Kulman, 2007), yet, many aspects of the reality experienced by new kinds of students and colleges is largely ignored in the college choice literature. This dissertation addresses key components of the college choice process to provide empirically-based evidence about what matters for traditional college students. The first study considers the antecedents to college enrollment and specifically unplanned enrollments. It addresses how students use college-related information, changes in this information over high school, and its relation to diverted or realized college enrollments. Findings suggest that information use varies greatly. Certain sources have positive impacts on student follow-through on four-year college plans. Counselors are found to be particularly important for low-SES students in the realization of their college plans. The second study focuses on issues of accountability in higher education by addressing policymakers' suggestions of using institutional graduation rates as a college choice criterion. This chapter examines the assumptions on which the use of graduation rates is based and how they compare with empirical reality. While graduation rate is an appealing criterion, this study shows that using institutional graduation rate would provide misleading or useless advice for most individuals. Other institutional measures--percent part-time students and school selectivity (based on SAT scores)--may be more useful in predicting degree completion. The third study focuses on the role of college proximity in college choice. It provides descriptive analysis of students' preferences for college location, where students attend college and how these relate to the colleges they attend and ultimate degree completion. There is great variability in student preferences for college and how far students travel for college. While actual distance to college is not related to degree completion outcomes for most students, it is related to the types of colleges that students attend. However, the preference for location is actually related to degree completion: those who prefer to go away having increased chances degree completion. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A