The relationship between college student persistence to graduation and expected family contribution at Ball State University

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Bell, Carolyn L.
Wessel, Roger D.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between Expected Family Contribution as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process and college student persistence to graduation at Ball State University.The population for this study was defined as 3,772 Ball State University full-time students who matriculated in the fall of 1995. The sample equaled the population. In response to the research question, the sample was divided into five subgroups (Full-Pell, Partial-Pell, No Pell-Need, No Pell-No Need, and No-FAFSA).It was determined that students at Ball State University with greater financial need (Full-Pell and Partial-Pell) persist and graduate at smaller rates than students in the other financial subgroups. In addition, students with high financial need are more likely to academically disqualify than other students. Statistically significant differences existed between the average rates for graduation and academic disqualification, and the graduation and academic disqualification rates for the Full-Pell and Partial-Pell groups. Institutions may need to determine if they are meeting the financial and academic needs of students from low-income families.