Research in Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 141–178 | Cite as

Region, resources, and reason: A contextual analysis of state tuition and student aid policies

  • James C. Hearn
  • Carolyn P. Griswold
  • Ginger M. Marine


This paper reports on an investigation of differences and similarities across the 50 states in approaches to the pricing and discounting, via student aid, of undergraduate education. To examine national patterns in tuition and aid policies, the analysis used recent state-by-state data and multivariate statistical methods. The results suggest that region, social and economic resources, and postsecondary governance arrangements each have distinctive connections to the nature of states' tuition and aid policies. Of particular interest are the results relating to high-tuition/high-aid policies at the state level, an approach termed by proponents therationalization of tuition and aid policy. Multiple regression analysis revealed rationalization to be primarily a regionally driven phenomenon concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest. Rationalization showed weaker, but still significant, connections to the states' population, personal income levels, extent of reliance on private postsecondary institutions, and governance arrangements. Implications of these findings for theory and policy are discussed.


Regression Analysis Statistical Method Multiple Regression Analysis State Level Income Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Hearn
    • 1
  • Carolyn P. Griswold
  • Ginger M. Marine
  1. 1.Institute of Higher EducationUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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