Sisi LiFollow

Date of Award

Fall 10-22-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Rong Chen

Committee Member

Martin J Finkelstein

Committee Member

Joseph M Stetar


financial aid, four-year college, college enrollment, college-qualified, logistic regression


Over the past decades, policymakers have developed numerous financial aid policies and programs with the goal of promoting college access and equity. However, access to American higher education is unduly limited by the complex interplay of inadequate preparation, lack of information about college opportunities, and persistent financial barriers (The U.S. Department of Education, 2006). Using Hossler and Gallagher’s (1987) three phase college choice model as a framework, this study analysis the restricted use data from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88/2000) to investigate how financial aid influence four year college enrollment among academically qualified students. This study also examined if this relationship varied across students with different social background. The findings demonstrate that low income and middle-income college-qualified students tend to respond more to loans and work-study. The study findings have important implications for financial aid policy as well as future research on the role of financial aid policy in college choice of academically qualified students from different income backgrounds.