School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Gary Kuhne


Budget Reduction, Financial Aid, Student Retention, Student Success


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Other Education


Since the beginning, the field of higher education has represented the possibility of a better future for many. For some, education represents a way to better oneself and to prepare for a future career. This is the one of the strongest drivers of going to college, that it will open doors to a better future. The number of students attending colleges and universities has increased over the decades but so too has the expense of going to college. The dissertation report presented here attempts to look at the retention rates of colleges and universities and how forms of financial gift aid may impact the retention rate of college students. Participants for this study included all public and private colleges and universities who award at least a bachelor’s degree and receive federal financial aid. These schools are required to submit information to the National Center for Educational Statistics and an archival database was used to pull financial aid and student enrollment information for each of these schools. Using a correlational predictive design, these data were examined to see if student retention rates can be predicted by the average amount of federal, state, and institutional grant and gift aid awarded per new incoming student and if one form of aid is more predictive than the others.