Date Approved

4-1-2020

Embargo Period

4-2-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Johnson, Ane Turner

Second Advisor

Ferguson, Sarah

Third Advisor

McElwee, Rory

Keywords

College choice, Consumer behavior, Decision-making, Enrollment, Gender, Mixed methods

Subject(s)

Women college students; College attendance

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

Gender and enrollment patterns in higher education have changed over the past 40 years, where women are now the majority of students enrolling in colleges and universities nationally each year compared to men (U.S. Department of Education, 2018b). Despite enrollment trends indicating a dramatic increase of female students at colleges and universities, Marathon University has experienced the opposite. The purpose of this concurrent, mixed methods case studies was to identify why female students are choosing not to enroll at Marathon University, despite relatively even rates of application and admission compared to male students. The intent of this study was to use college choice and consumer decision-making models to determine how women make decisions about enrollment at Marathon University, noting the marketized and privatized landscape of higher education today. Secondary institutional data of admitted students were analyzed through a multinomial logistic regression, while secondary open-ended accepted student survey results were analyzed through content analysis. After each initial analysis, the findings were compared and contrasted to determine the ways that qualitative survey results helped to explain quantitative institutional data about college choice between male and female students.

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