Details

Exploring the move to include non-need in community college institutional financial aid policies

by Suchanek, Julie M.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this study is to explore the factors that led to the move to include non-need aid in community college institutional financial aid policies. The following questions guided the research: (1) What meaning do those involved in the

formulation of institutional financial aid policy at community colleges give to need and non-need as criteria for financial aid? (2) What internal factors influenced the decision to include non-need in institutional financial aid policies at community

colleges? (3) What external factors influenced the decision to include non-need in institutional financial aid policies at community colleges? and (4) What explains the move away from need-based towards the inclusion of non-need in institutional

community college financial aid policies? The research design included an interpretive social science philosophical approach and case study method with four community colleges selected using unique case sampling.

The recognition of the meanings given to need and non-need aid by the colleges in this study provided context for the decision to include non-need in institutional financial aid policies from the perspective of those involved in the formulation of financial aid. The meanings of need and non-need identified by the

colleges were found to be similar to the meanings given to need and non-need in the literature.

The findings also included identifying internal and external factors which influenced a community college's decision to include non-need aid in institutional financial aid policies. Internal factors identified by the participating community

colleges were: (a) award performance, (b) shift in culture,

(c) increase enrollment, (4) access to education, (5) strategize goals, (6) increase retention, and (7) incentivize attendance. External factors were: (a) competitors, (b) federal aid policy, (c) state aid policy, (d) state education policy, (e) funds, (f) student performance, and (g) donor base. The study concluded with an analysis of the interplay between the internal and external factors identified by the community colleges in this study. Two major findings emerged through this analysis. First the internal factors identified by a majority of community colleges in this study were more important than the external factors in the decision to include non-need in institutional financial aid policies. Second, four themes emerged from the cross-case analysis that offer possible explanations for the decision to include non-need in institutional financial aid policies: (1) increase access, (2) raise the profile of community colleges, (3) cultural shift within the community college, and (4) strategize goals.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Copa, George H.; Russ-Eft, Darlene; Lunch, Bill; Gatewood, Algie; Trujillo, Juan Antonio

School:Oregon State University

School Location:USA - Oregon

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:merit financial aid community colleges united states finance student administration college students personal

ISBN:

Date of Publication:04/14/2009

© 2009 OpenThesis.org. All Rights Reserved.