A Multilevel Analysis: Postsecondary Enrollment by Rurality /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Day, Billie Jo, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2017
Description:1 electronic resource (151 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/11715081
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Colleen M. Grogan Committee members: Julia R. Henly; James E. Rosenbaum.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 78-12(E), Section: A.
Summary:More than at any other time, enrolling in postsecondary education is a crucial pathway to finding employment that provides a living wage. While postsecondary education is related to better life outcomes, enrollment in postsecondary education is not uniform. Rural youths are less likely to enroll in college than non-rural youths, and when they do enroll in college, they choose less selective colleges (Hu, 2003; Koricich, 2014). Rigorous research that seeks to understand the differences in the predictors of enrollment in postsecondary education by rurality is a necessary step in improving the educational outcomes of rural residents. A better understanding of the effect that rurality has on postsecondary enrollment is needed to improve college access programming and policy. It is within this context that, using Perna's conceptual model of student college choice and employing multilevel modeling, this study examined how rurality and attachment to place are related to postsecondary enrollment while taking both student- and high school-level variables into account.
Multinomial hierarchical generalized linear modeling (HGLM) was used to model the effect of rurality and social and setting attachment on postsecondary enrollment, to subset models by rurality and to examine how rurality interacts with attachment to place and other predictors of postsecondary enrollment. Results from the models showed that rurality does have a direct effect on postsecondary enrollment but attachment to place does not. Further, there are significant differences across rurality, particularly for the importance of living at home in choosing a college and HS GPA.
These results suggest that rurality is an important factor in predicting postsecondary enrollment. As such, this study provides useful and timely knowledge that informs efforts to improve college access programming in states with large rural and suburban populations. Further, these findings also have important policy implications for states that wish to improve the outcomes of rural and suburban students by focusing on the role of education in these communities and re-conceptualizing the mission of rural- and suburban-serving postsecondary institutions.