School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Jeffrey S. Savage


higher education, financial resources, graduation rates, resource allocation


Higher Education


Researchers have emphasized higher education accessibility and undergraduate degree completion in the United States for several decades. A significant amount of literature has examined student financial resources' role in influencing the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Not much research exists on how institutional financial resources relate to and impact undergraduate graduation rates. The purpose of this study was to gauge how accurately institutional financial resources predicted undergraduate degree completion rates. The study investigated a random sample of 193 four-year colleges and universities classified as baccalaureate institutions by the Carnegie Classification system. The data collection process extracted institutional information from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a publicly accessible database administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The study obtained the financial resources and completion rates data from the IPEDS Finance and IPEDS Graduation Rates reports. The study used a correlational research design and multiple linear regression analysis to assess college and university financial resources’ influence on graduation rates. The study found a statistically significant relationship between institutions' financial resources and six-year undergraduate completion rates. Future studies should consider examining the relationship between specific revenue and expense items and using one accounting method.