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Samuel Anderson ’21
Impacts of the repression of student activism on the transition to universal higher education through case study and examination of 4-year graduation, 6-year graduation and retention rates at three large public research universities.

Through case studies of three cases of student activism and subsequent university response from 2015, this thesis seeks to understand the connections between the repression of student activism and the failed shift from elite to mass to universal higher education as described by sociologist Martin Trow. Specifically, an examination of the correlation between 4- and 6- year graduation rates and each university’s response to student activism on their campus provides the foundation for further research which could investigate the existence of a causal relationship between the repression of student activism and measures of student success like graduation rates.

Faculty Sponsor: Nina Kasniunas


Madalyn Romberger ’21
Post-Secondary Enrollment Decisions of High School Students: The Impact of Socioeconomic Status

Discrepancies exist in the type of students who attend, and graduate from, post-secondary institutions.  This study investigates the impact of socioeconomic status on students’ enrollment decisions using the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002).  Using an ordinary least square (OLS) model specification, attendance is regressed against a combination of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.  The findings reveal that the statistical significance of the independent variables change based on the inclusion of school income or parental income categories. Differences were observed among sex, race, standardized test scores, student work hours, and parental educational attainment variables.

Faculty Sponsor: Gina Shamshak