Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Spring 4-18-2013

Document Type



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Debra Mullen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Emily E. Carpenter


Retention in higher education continues to be a constant issue for administrators. The university studied for this research is one that intends to expand its current undergraduate body by more than 25% by 2017. To do this, the chancellor of the institution has claimed that increasing the retention rate is vital. As shown in many studies, if an institution can retain students into their sophomore year they are more likely to graduate them within a 6-year period. This study specifically analyzes 1,328 equity aid eligible resident students from the 2011-2012 academic year to the 2012 fall semester. A student is equity aid eligible if his or her family cannot contribute more than 10,601 dollars per year towards the student’s education. Students in this study fall under three categories: equity, not equity, and not awarded. The ‘equity’ indicator acknowledges that the equity aid eligible student has applied for his or her financial aid package by April 1st (on time) and has received the maximum amount of $11,000 dollars from grant aid from the federal government, state government, and institution need-based grants. Both the ‘not equity’ and ‘not awarded’ indicators acknowledge that the equity aid eligible student has applied for their financial aid package late (after April 1st) and has either received some grant aid, but not the maximum (not equity) or no grant aid at all (not awarded). This study looks at the retention of these 1,328 students from their freshmen to sophomore year to determine if there is any correlation between the type of aid received and if they are retained or not.

Advisor: Debra Mullen