Title page for ETD etd-04032006-162838

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Brooks, Jr., Roy Cleveland
Author's Email Address cbrook1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04032006-162838
Title Factors that Influence Traditional-Age, High-Achieving Students to Enroll at a Research-Extensive University in the Southern Region of the United States
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael F. Burnett Committee Chair
Earl C. Johnson Committee Member
Krisanna Machtmes Committee Member
Satish Verma Committee Member
Ronald G. Garay Dean's Representative
  • enrollment management
  • higher education
  • admission issues
  • college choice
Date of Defense 2006-03-17
Availability unrestricted
The primary purpose of this study was to determine if a model existed that significantly increased the researcher's ability to accurately explain the enrollment status of high-achieving freshmen based on the influence of selected demographic and academic characteristics.

Since World War II, the need for students to obtain an outstanding postsecondary education in order to compete for the best positions in today's job market has become increasingly important. Thus, the need exists for higher education institutions to offer competitive academic programs that will attract top students and faculty. Since the number of graduating high school students is predicted to decline during the next decade, competition for students is fierce among institutions as enrollment managers strive to enroll outstanding students.

This study's population was defined as all high-achieving freshmen (ACT ≥ 28 and academic GPA ≥ 3.0) who were admitted to one selected research-extensive university for the fall 2005 semester. There were 13 independent variables that were collected from the admissions and student aid databases and then transferred to a computerized, recording form, which served as the research instrument.

Using stepwise multiple discriminant analysis, the researcher identified a substantively and statistically significant model that increased the researcher's ability to accurately explain the enrollment status of high-achieving freshman. The model correctly classified 65.0% of the cases, which was a 30.1% improvement over chance that was obtained on these subjects using this model. The variable that had the greatest impact on enrollment was whether or not the student's parent graduated from the institution. Other variables that contributed significantly were: student's residency status, college entrance examination score (ACT), gender, offer of admission to the Honors College, academic high school GPA, whether or not the student's race was Hispanic, and whether the student graduated from a public or private high school.

The researcher recommended additional studies that would increase the percentage of correctly classified students by integrating these variables with others that could further explain future freshman classes. Variables suggested were: the institution's image, student's academic major, high school counselor influence, student's relationship with enrollment management offices, communication with students, and the campus visit program.

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