ERIC Number: EJ1157210
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Family Structure Changes during High School and College Selectivity
An, Brian P.; Sorensen, Kia N.
Research in Higher Education, v58 n7 p695-722 Nov 2017
Research has shown that family structure changes negatively influence educational attainment, but they overlook qualitative distinctions in college choice, such as college selectivity. Yet, college choice research has largely focused on static measures of family structure, failing to account for year-to-year family structure changes that occur during high school. We merge literature in family and college choice to investigate the role of family-life events on college choice. We found family structure changes that occur early and late in high school influence the selectivity of the college where a student applies, and this relation persists in spite of controls for race, gender, family background, and pre-high school family structures. Including educational expectations, parent-student discussions, and coursework rigor account for the negative association between family structure changes during high school and the selectivity of the college where a student applies. However, late family structure changes during high school continue to correlate negatively with a student's college enrollment, potentially reflecting realities and financial burdens of attending college, especially selective colleges.
Descriptors: Family Structure, College Choice, Family Influence, High School Students, College Applicants, Racial Differences, Ethnicity, Gender Differences, Expectation, Correlation, College Attendance
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A