Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Johnson, Ane Turner

Committee Member 1

Ferguson, Sarah

Committee Member 2

McElwee, Rory


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


Women college students; College attendance


Higher Education


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.