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ERIC Number: EJ815069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0316-1218
Do Perceptions of Costs and Benefits of Post-Secondary Education Influence Participation?
Cote, James; Skinkle, Rod; Motte, Anne
Canadian Journal of Higher Education, v38 n2 p73-93 2008
Despite the continuing accumulation of knowledge of the factors influencing participation in post-secondary education, there are still gaps in our understanding. For example, very little is known regarding how perceptions of costs and benefits are implicated in an individual's decision to pursue college or university studies, and whether certain perceptions hamper access among students from disadvantaged backgrounds. This paper presents results from a research programme designed to develop and evaluate an operationalization of "perceived return on investment" (PRoI) in post-secondary education, based on students' subjective considerations of costs and benefits. These results are derived from two key research questions: is it possible to reliably measure high school students' perceived return on investment in a post-secondary education, and does the measurement of these perceptions predict actual post-secondary participation? Results show that PRoI can be measured satisfactorily and is predictive of university attendance, net of other factors currently known to influence participation. The "perceptual horizon effect" model is proposed to account for both positive and negative perceptions of returns on investment. (Contains 4 tables.)
Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education. P.O. Box 34091, RPO Fort Richmond, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5T5, Canada. Tel: 204-474-6404; Fax: 204-474-7561; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 12; High Schools; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada