Who Enrolls in Two-year Colleges? A National Study of Price Response

    Vol. 39, No. 1, p. 4 

    by Timothy Stokes and Patricia Somers

    The authors examine the factors that influence the college choice process of two-year college students and explore the effect these variables have on the two-year/four-year college choice dichotomy, using the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) of 1995-96 and the Beginning Postsecondary (BPS) component of that survey. This study provides new insight into the influence that background characteristics, aspirations, high school experience, college experience, price and subsidy, and beginning postsecondary variables have on a student’s decision to attend a two-year college as compared to a four-year institution. The study finds that ethnicity, location, high school degree attainment, educational achievement (as measured by high school GPA and ACT score), tuition and fee rates, net cost, and campus climate are the most influential variables influencing a student’s decision to attend a two-year college.