This study examined (1) average distances traveled to attend college, (2) presumptive college eligibility, (3) differences between two-year and four-year college enrollment, (4) differences in enrollment related to differences in colleges' selectivity, and (5) degree of "undermatching" (i.e., enrolling in a college less selective than one's presumptive eligibility suggested) for rural and nonrural graduates among Indiana's 2010 high school graduates. "Presumptive eligibility" refers to the highest level of college selectivity for which a student is presumed eligible for admission, as determined by academic qualifications. The researchers obtained student-level, school-level, and university-related data from Indiana's state longitudinal data system on the 64,534 students who graduated from high school in 2010. Of the original sample, 30,624 graduates entered a public two-year or four-year college in the fall immediately after high school graduation. Data were analyzed using Chi-square tests, GIS analysis, and hierarchical generalized linear models. Rural and nonrural graduates enrolled in college at similar rates, but rural graduates enrolled more frequently in two-year colleges than nonrural graduates. About one third of rural graduates enrolled in colleges that were less selective than colleges for which they were presumptively eligible. Rural graduates travel farther to attend both two-year and less selective four-year colleges than nonrural graduates. More information is needed about how students learn about their college options, what support structures are in place in order to assist students in enrolling in college, and how these processes and supports differ between rural and nonrural schools. The following are appended: (1) Literature review; (2) Data and methodology; (3) Additional results; and (4) Additional results from regression analyses.
ERIC DescriptorsCollege Admission, College Attendance, College Choice, College Preparation, College Readiness, Educational Attainment, Eligibility, Enrollment Trends, Geographic Information Systems, Geographic Location, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, High School Graduates, Higher Education, Institutional Characteristics, Longitudinal Studies, Lunch Programs, Postsecondary Education, Regression (Statistics), Research Needs, Rural Areas, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, Selective Admission, Statistical Analysis, Student Characteristics, Travel, Trend Analysis, Two Year Colleges
Midwest | Publication Type: Descriptive Study | Publication
Date: June 2015