Type of Document Dissertation Author Bynum, Catherine Stevenson URN etd-02012011-221835 Title The Relationship between state financial aid and student persistence and success in college. An examination of Hispanic undocumented students in Texas community colleges Degree Doctor of Education Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Shouping Hu Committee Chair Patrice Iatarola Committee Member Robert Schwartz Committee Member Kathryn Harker Tillman University Representative Keywords
- Student Success
- Student Persistence
- Financial Aid
Date of Defense 2010-11-11 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
Immigration trends indicate that undocumented students have the potential to participate in the American higher education system. Although 5% to 10% of the undocumented population attends college, research suggests that these individuals often have difficulty in completing a program of study. College retention can be attributed to a myriad of factors, to include financial assistance. As a result, many higher education institutions have implemented financial aid and academic programs for minorities, non-traditional, first time in college (FTIC), foreign born and low-income students to assist in raising students’ levels of retention, academic performance and program of study completion (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). Conversely, the primary benefactors of educational and financial subsidies have been does deemed as “legitimate benefactors of rights, privileges and social goods” – those of legal U.S. residency and citizenry (Perry, 2004, p. 3).
The purpose of this study was to determine if financial aid [receipt and amount] among other student characteristics improved student success and persistence. In order to better understand factors associated with undocumented student success and persistence, the researcher conducted a quantitative methodology. The data was obtained from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), which entailed the undocumented student population enrolled as 2003 – 2004 first time in college (FTIC) cohort members [n = 31,769] of two-year Texas colleges. Of this sample, the researcher utilized the data referencing only 54% of students who actually received financial aid to determine the correlation between student success and persistence. Logistic regression and stepwise regression analysis suggested that among the influential independent variables, financial aid [ amount], being of the female gender, enrolled full-time, and classified as limited English proficient (LEP) positively influenced and persistence and success. Further, among the variables that negatively influenced success and persistence were those who were classified as being academically disadvantaged. Moreover, parental educational status did not render any significant correlation with success and persistence. Finally, financial aid [receipt] warranted a negatively correlation on student success, which was the inverse finding for student persistence.
This study contributed to the body of literature regarding factors [background and pre-collegiate characteristics] that influenced success and persistence among undocumented college students. Additionally, further research is needed to analyze additional “identifiable” variables that could potentially enhance student persistence and success; and determine the degree completion rates and rates of return for this particular population.
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