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ERIC Number: EJ869356
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 141
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 185
ISSN: ISSN-1551-6970
Special Issue: College Choice and Access to College: Moving Policy, Research, and Practice to the 21st Century
Bergerson, Amy Aldous, Ed.
ASHE Higher Education Report, v35 n4 p1-141 2009
College choice has been a topic of investigation for many years. Since the 1990 publication of Michael Paulsen's ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report on student enrollment behaviors, hundreds of publications have explored the processes through which students determine whether and where to go to college and the factors that influence these processes. This monograph reviews twenty years of literature on college choice, building on Paulsen's work and illuminating new directions the research has taken since 1990. Of particular note is the growing emphasis on the fact that students of color and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds attend college at lower rates than white middle- and upper-class students. This focus on the stratification of higher education in the United States is perhaps the most notable aspect of the research reviewed in this monograph. Further, the pre-dominance of quantitative methods for examining issues of college choice is evident in the research of the last twenty years. Although this focus has allowed for greater specification of variables that contribute to the choice process, there is a clear need for additional qualitative work to further illuminate how and why those variables affect students' postsecondary decisions. Understanding college choice has potential implications for practice, policy, and research. Increasing competition for students among higher education institutions necessitates an understanding of the processes they use not only to make institutional selections but also to decide whether to attend college at all. With cuts in institutional budgets as a result of the current economic recession, the need to target marketing and recruitment efforts is growing. Increasing diversity in higher education necessitates developing the ability to better serve a wider variety of students. Finally, in an era where many have declared that the United States has "moved beyond race," it is necessary to understand and resolve the persistent lack of representation of students of color and lower socioeconomic students in higher education. This monograph examines college choice literature from the last two decades, identifying trends and patterns in the literature as well as in students' college choice processes. The monograph is organized in six sections: (1) research trends since the publication of Paulsen's (1990) monograph; (2) comprehensive models of college choice, emphasizing Hossler and Gallagher's three-stage model (1987) and introducing lenses through which the process is viewed; (3) studies exploring the role of socioeconomic status in the college choice process; (4) research examining the barriers and challenges to enrolling in higher education for students of color; (5) literature related to college preparation programs designed to increase the participation of underserved students in higher education; and (6) the implications and recommendations that follow a review of this research. Throughout, the monograph pays attention to enhancing the college choice processes of specific student populations. (Contains 1 table and name and subject indexes.)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States