Association between tuition discounting and institutional goals at the largest midwestern private universities

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


School of Education and Health Sciences


Advisor: Theodore J. Kowalski


This study examined differences in institutional aid among the largest 4-year private-non-profit (PNP) institutions in the Midwest. The researcher determined the levels of association between institutional grants and measures of institutional goals, determined the levels of association between institutional grants and measures of institutional goals when controlling for the effects of total-full time undergraduate headcount and institutional wealth and determined whether the practice of tuition discounting has benefited the largest 4-year PNP institutions in the Midwest over the past decade. The variables of the study were categorized as institutional goal and institutional grant variables. Institutional goal variables were further categorized as measures of diversity, enrollment and financial goals. The study population was the 30 largest 4-year PNP institutions having a primary location in a Midwest state and having students between the ages of 18 and 24 constituting at least 85% of undergraduate enrollment. Pearson's product-moment coefficients were computed to determine strength of associations. Profiles of the study colleges were created, including data for each of the measured institutional goal and grant variables. The practice of tuition discounting was associated with various positive changes in diversity, enrollment and financial outcomes over the period of this study. The primary findings of the study are summarized in five conclusive statements: 1) different levels of institutional grants have had different levels of associations with institutional goals and institutional wealth had a significant impact on these associations, 2) higher discounts were not generally associated with greater changes in institutional goals, 3) associations between institutional grants and institutional goals have waned over time, therefore, the ability to influence institutional goals through the use of institutional grants is fading, 4) total full-time undergraduate headcount had little impact on the associations between institutional grant and institutional goal variables, suggesting the findings are consistent across a range of institutional as measured by enrollment, 5) tuition and fees and institutional wealth have grown at significant rates, yet the population lagged the national averages in racial and ethnic diversity and socioeconomic diversity at all 4-year PNPs. Implications of these findings for policy and further research were discussed.


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