Effects of tuition increases on community college enrollments in the state of Washington: A student price response study.
AuthorLee, Wai-Fong Tang.
AdvisorLeslie, Larry L.
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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 this study was to investigate how changes in tuition and fees affect community college enrollment patterns in the state of Washington, and to identify other key factors that have major effects on enrollment changes. Several enrollment categories were selected for analysis: Total headcount, FTE, first-time freshmen, minority students, full-time and part-time attendance, two age groups, gender, and academic and vocational programs. The theoretical framework was derived from demand theory in microeconomics, with particular application of the concepts of price elasticity and of the demand function. Eight independent variables were examined, including tuition prices, student aid, socioeconomic factors, and a State enrollment cap. The results were based on a time-series analysis of system-wide data from 1971-1987. The major findings were that (1) own-tuition price was associated negatively with all categories of enrollment, except for academic programs; (2) tuition and fees at public four-year institutions had positive effects on community college enrollments; (3) student aid was a key factor and related to enrollment negatively, suggesting that public four-year institutions were substitutes for community colleges; (4) personal income was a stronger economic indicator than unemployment for most of the enrollment categories; (5) the proportion of whites in the population had different effects on different enrollment groups; and (6) the enrollment cap caused a substantial reduction in most of the enrollment categories. Different types of students responded differently to price changes and other factors. In general, older students, part-timers, females, and minority students were more sensitive to tuition price changes than younger, male, and full-time students. Overall, the results of the study were consistent with previous enrollment demand studies of community colleges.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration