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Author: Griffith, Amanda Leigh
Resulting in 2 citations.
1. Griffith, Amanda Leigh
Essays in Higher Education Economics
Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, August, 2009.
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Department of Economics, Cornell University
Keyword(s): College Education; Economics of Minorities; Higher Education; Income Level; Locus of Control (see Rotter Scale); Minorities; Private Schools

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

One of the main issues at the forefront of higher education policy discussions in the last decade concerns the under-representation of low-income and minority students at our nation's more selective colleges and universities. This dissertation focuses on this issue by examining the factors that impact on the college application decisions of low-income and minority students, as well as their success in selective colleges and universities after matriculation and finally by investigating how the use of merit-based financial aid programs affects the representation of low-income and minority students and other institutional spending patterns. The first essay uses the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth: 1997 to examine how the distance from one's home to the nearest selective college or university affects a student's decision to apply to a selective college or university. Students that live near to a selective colleges or university may be more likely to apply to this type of institution, both because of the lower costs, and also possibly due to increased knowledge of the opportunities available at this type of college. The results show that as distance to a selective college decreases, students are more likely to apply to one, and not necessarily the closest one. Colleges may be able to increase the representation of low-income students in their application pools by increasing the information available to students living far away from any selective institutions. The second essay examines the success of low-income and minority students after they enroll at elite colleges and universities. I use the restricted access versions of the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen and the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 to examine how institutional fit, both academic and social, impact educational outcomes such as GPA, persistence and college major choice. I find that on average, minorities and students from low-income families achieve lower grade point average s and are less likely than other students to graduate within 6 years. Poor academic fit can negatively impact grades, but has little effect on persistence. Income peer group size does not affect grades or persistence, but does play a role in college major choice. Same race peer group size influences grades and persistence in addition to affecting college major choice. The third essay focuses on the increased use by private colleges and universities of financial aid based on "merit", as opposed to based solely on financial need. Using data from the College Board's Annual Survey of Colleges and other secondary data sources I examine how the increased use of merit aid impacts upon the socioeconomic and demographic composition of student bodies, and how faculty salaries, tuition costs, and the use of adjunct faculty members changes after a change to a merit-aid policy. Results show that the percentage of students from low-income and minority families decreases following the introduction of merit-aid, and several institutional expenditure and student cost categories also change.
Bibliography Citation
Griffith, Amanda Leigh. Essays in Higher Education Economics. Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, August, 2009..
2. Griffith, Amanda Leigh
Rothstein, Donna S.
Can't Get There From Here: The Decision To Apply To A Selective College
Economics of Education Review 28,5 (October 2009): 620-628.
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): College Education; College Enrollment; Income Level; Locus of Control (see Rotter Scale)

In an attempt to increase applications from low-income students, some selective 4-year colleges are developing programs to target and attract low-income students. However, relatively little research has looked at factors important in the college application process, and in particular, how these factors differ for low-income students. This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) to analyze factors influencing students' college application decisions, with a focus on the decision to apply to a selective 4-year college. We hypothesize that distance from a student's home to selective colleges may play a role in the application decision and differentially impact low-income students. Our results suggest that distance does matter, although the effects do not vary by family income level. [Copyright 2009 Elsevier]
Bibliography Citation
Griffith, Amanda Leigh and Donna S. Rothstein. "Can't Get There From Here: The Decision To Apply To A Selective College." Economics of Education Review 28,5 (October 2009): 620-628.