Date of Award

Winter 2-24-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Robert Kelchen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Blissett, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Martin Finkelstein, Ph.D.


international students, enrollment, resource dependence, tuition revenue, state appropriation, minority enrollment


My dissertation covered issues relevant to the impact of international student enrollment on the finances of U.S. public universities and examines the increasing numbers of international students at those institutions between 2003 and 2018. All three studies utilized fixed-effects panel regression technique that is a perfect fit for an examination of questions around student enrollments. I used data from IPEDS, U.S. News and World report, 2009 Barron’s Competitiveness Index U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Conference of State Legislatures. In the first chapter, I explored how first-time international undergraduate enrollment contributes to the growth of net-tuition revenue at public research universities. The results showed that the magnitude of the relationship was small, suggesting that prestige-seeking and not financial rationale has been the major reason to recruit students from abroad. In the second chapter, I looked at the extent to which state support explains first-time international undergraduate enrollment patterns at public research universities. My analysis confirmed that international enrollment is an important channel through which selective public research universities buffer declines in state funding. In the third chapter, I looked at whether international student enrollment can affect access for domestic minority students in full-time MBA programs at public universities. This study showed that international enrollments do not reduce access for domestic minority students.