ANALYSIS OF ENROLLMENT CHANGES AND THE VARIABLES THAT AFFECT THE CHANGES IN LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES.
AuthorWALKER, NANCY BARBARA.
KeywordsCollege attendance -- United States.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of the study was to determine the role of various economic, social, and institutional variables that accounted for the enrollment trends of liberal arts colleges. Most enrollment forecasts have predicted declines in higher education enrollments. Individual institutions relying upon enrollment predictions for planning have had difficulty using these predictions because most of them are aggregated. This study concentrated on individual liberal arts colleges as defined by the Carnegie Commission. Methods of enrollment projections were discussed along with a variety of national, regional, institutional type enrollment projections made since 1970. Observed enrollment trends, factors affecting enrollments, and demographic information were discussed. A marketing concept was used to provide the framework for discovering variables relating to enrollment trends. Phase I of the study selected contributing variables and prepared the data to be examined statistically. Phase II catagorized the institutions into groups according to their enrollment tends over a fourteen year period beginning in 1965 and selected a sample group for statistical testing. Phase III statistical analyzed enrollment trends using enrollment trends as the dependent variable and the independent variables selected in Phase I. The variables discovered to be significant were then tested to assess their predictive validity. Institutions were classified into ten groups using a least squares regression criterion for best fit. These included accelerated growth, constant growth, slowing growth, stable, slowing decline, constant decline, accelerated decline, growth/decline, decline/growth, and erratic. Of 585 Liberal Arts I and Liberal Arts II colleges listed by the Carnegie Commission, 62 were eliminated for lack of enrollment information, and 523 were classified. Those institutions most clearly fitting an enrollment trend were used in the 122 sample that was used in the statistical analysis. Thirty-three Liberal Arts I and eighty-nine Liberal Arts II institutions were chosen for the analysis. In the final analyses, only the growth or decline and the stable groups were used making the seven enrollment trends. Discriminate function analysis was used to distinguish statistically among the groups and to indicate the ability of the independent variables to predict enrollment trends. Liberal Arts I and Liberal Arts II colleges were analyzed separately, and in three ways. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI
Degree ProgramHigher Education