The Relationship Between the Price of College and First Year Enrollment at a Midwestern Technical College
Will, John E.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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A national movement has led to significant dialogue regarding the potential benefits of free college. Supporters suggest that additional financial resources will remove a barrier that limits access and attainment. This study considered the estimated price of college in a way that is consistent with what is described in most free college models. The resulting estimates of price were used to determine whether a significant relationship existed with first and second term enrollment or completion for a sample of 2016 students who completed the FAFSA at a Midwestern technical college. It provided a statistically significant result that allowed for the development of a predictive model. The model, however, indicated a relationship that was opposite of the expected relationship. As estimated price increased, rates of continued second term enrollment also increased. Information regarding the college’s students who participated in its free college program suggest the majority of students already had resources to cover the costs eligible under the program. The study discussed the conclusions drawn from the research and introduced recommendations for future research and to key stakeholders, and can be replicated by institutions with similar information systems.