The Effects Of Financial Aid On Student Persistence And Degree-Attainment Among Underrepresented Minorities In Community Colleges
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentCommunity College Leadership Program
ProgramDoctor of Education
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The purpose of this quantitative ex post facto study was to assess the extent to which the amount and type of financial aid predict year-to-year persistence and degree-attainment among African American, Hispanic, and low-income community college students. Most of the current research focused on these issues with-in four-year institutions; however, persistence and degree-attainment within a community college setting has not been fully examined using national data. This study was guided by the workable persistence model of Edward St. John (1992) who examined the impact of social background, academic background, college experiences and financial factors. For the purpose of this current study, this model was used to determine if there is a relationship between the type and amount of financial aid received and persistence and degree-attainment among African American, Hispanic and low-income community college students. The independent variables consisted of the type of financial aid received and the amount of financial aid received. The dependent variables were student persistence and rate of degree-attainment. Longitudinal data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Beginning Postsecondary Student Survey (BPS) were analyzed. The data-analysis consisted of descriptive statistics and logistic regression. The two federal programs examined were the Pell Grant and Stafford Loan programs. The state program examined was merit-based aid. Findings confirmed that Pell Grant, Stafford Subsidized Loans, and state merit-based funding were most often best predictors of persistence and degree-attainment by the targeted populations. The findings of this study could be used to inform a review of policies and by federal and state legislation in order to improve financial aid programs and ensure adequate financial support to underrepresented students (McGhee, 2011).As administrators become aware of which forms of financial aid were most predictive of persistence and degree-attainment in their own institutions, efforts can be made to award student funding in ways that improve persistence and degree-attainment.