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ERIC Number: EJ1082023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0151
They Come but Do They Finish? Program Completion for Honors Students at a Major Public University, 1998-2010
Goodstein, Lynne; Szarek Patricia
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v14 n2 p85-104 Fall-Win 2013
In recent years, the option of enrolling in honors programs and colleges at major public universities has increasingly become an alternative to elite private and public institutions for some of the brightest and most academically-talented high school graduates. To attract these high-achieving students, universities may offer applicants incentives such as merit scholarships, smaller classes, honors residential options, research experiences, and enrichment programs. The message to prospective students is that, by enrolling in an honors college or program, they will receive an education that rivals what would be obtained at an elite private school and at a much lower price. A consequence of this message is that, in many cases, honors programs and colleges have increasingly become a separate brand, differentiated from the larger institution as more elite and selective while delivering an enhanced educational product. Despite controversy within the honors community about elitism as a good or bad thing for honors programs and their students (Herron; Weiner), honors programs and colleges are increasingly becoming an enrollment tool to recruit high-achieving students to public universities. The argument in favor of honors education at public universities is becoming even more persuasive as the volume of public discourse on the cost of college continues upward in the popular media (Lemann). In their recruitment pitches, universities emphasize that for high-achieving students, educational costs are likely to extend beyond the four undergraduate years to include graduate or professional-school tuitions and expenses. Therefore, enrolling in a public university's honors program enables students to conserve funds for later or share them with other deserving family members.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A