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ERIC Number: EJ1144145
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1936-346X
Graduation Rates and the Higher Education Demographic Evolution
Hunsaker, B. Tom; Thomas, Douglas E.
Journal of Learning in Higher Education, v9 n2 p29-33 Fall 2013
In his 1918 orienting work, The Higher Learning in America, Veblen highlights two primary aims of the higher education institution: (a) scientific and scholarly inquiry, and (b) the instruction of students (Veblen, 1918). As of 2006, this overarching mission remained intact. In contemporary literature, a common measure of the efficacy of the latter of these two goals is an institution's graduation rates. Previous research asserts admissions criteria to be the dominant predictor of graduation rates. However, the nature of the higher education student is changing. Underrepresented populations, specifically non-traditional students, comprise a greater portion of an institution's student body than at any point in history. The impact of this evolution has yet to be adequately assessed in the graduation rate literature. Using OLS regression with data from the National Center for Education Statistics (IES) for thirty randomly selected land-grant universities, we investigate the extent to which admissions criteria remains the leading predictor of graduation rates when accounting for variables indicative of non-traditional and underrepresented students -- such as the percentage of the student body above the age of twenty-five, the percentage of the student body receiving financial aid, part-time enrollment, and student to faculty ratio. Results indicate, while selection criteria play a role in graduation rates, the influence of non-traditional students on graduation rates is also notable.
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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