Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jerry Willis

Second Supervisor

Edward Sullivan

Abstract

Despite the volume of research on college retention, additional investigation is warranted as many institutions continue to be plagued by poor retention rates. This study investigated the impact of pre- and post-matriculation factors on student retention at SUNY Cobleskill. The focus of the study was on the associate degree students and includes variables such as financial aid type and amount, and college choice. Statistical procedures such as Chi Square, Kendall’s Tau and Cramer’s V were employed during the data analysis. This research adds to the existing body of research by studying a small, regional, state-assisted institution that focuses on teaching. Most of the currently available studies have been conducted at large or mid-size research-based institutions. The researcher did not find statistically significant findings when analyzing relationships between college choice, type of financial aid and expected family contribution, and college student retention. A significant relationship was found when looking at the total amount of aid received and college student retention. This relationship warrants further research into the ability to pay versus willingness to pay, as well as how financial aid packaging may impact college student retention.

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