Research in Higher Education

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 657–687 | Cite as

Emerging variations in postsecondary attendance patterns: An investigation of part-time, delayed, and nondegree enrollment

  • James C. Hearn


This research assessed hypotheses regarding several nontraditional styles of postsecondary enrollment: enrolling part-time, delaying postsecondary enrollment for a year or more beyond high-school graduation, and entering nondegree-granting programs. The research was conducted using a sample of 8,203 high-school graduates drawn from the national High School and Beyond data set. Among the findings of the multivariate statistical analyses is evidence that socioeconomically disadvantaged graduates have disproportionately pursued each of the nontraditional enrollment options, even in the context of controls for the respondents' differing academic characteristics. The theoretical, management, and policy implications of these results are discussed.


High School Policy Implication Education Research Multivariate Statistical Analysis Attendance Pattern 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alexander, K. L., and Eckland, B. K. (1977). High school context and college selectivity: Institutional constraints in educational stratification.Social Forces 56:166–188.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander, K. L., and Cook, M. A. (1979). The motivational relevance of educational plans: Questioning the conventional wisdom.Social Psychology Quarterly 42(3):202–213.Google Scholar
  3. Bachman, J. G., and O'Malley, P. M. (1980). The youth in transition series: A study of change and stability in young men. In A. Kerckhoff (ed.),Research in Sociology of Education and Socialization, vol. 1, pp. 127–160. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bean, J. P., and Metzner, B. S. (1985). A conceptual model of nontraditional undergraduate student attrition.Review of Educational Research 55(4): 485–540.Google Scholar
  5. Begg, C. B., and Gray, R. (1984). Calculation of polychotomous logistic regression parameters using individualized regressions.Biometrika 71:11–18.Google Scholar
  6. Blumenstyk, G. (1989, February 22). More states are providing aid to those who study part time.Chronicle of Higher Education 35(24): A21, A26.Google Scholar
  7. Bowles, S., and Gintis, H. (1976).Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  8. Brint, S., and Karabel, J. (1989).The Diverted Dream: Community Colleges and the Promise of Educational Opportunity in America, 1900–1985. New York: Oxford.Google Scholar
  9. Cabrera, A. F., Stampen, J. O., and Hansen, W. L. (1990). Exploring the effects of ability to pay on persistence in college.Research in Higher Education 13(3): 303–336.Google Scholar
  10. Carroll, C. D. (1989).College Persistence and Degree Attainment for 1980 High School Graduates: Hazards for Transfers, Stopouts, and Part-Timers. Survey Report CS 89-302 of the National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  11. Change Magazine (1986, July/August). Part-timers, Myths and realities, pp. 49–53.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, B. L. (1983).The Higher Education System. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  13. College Board, The (1991).Trends in Student Aid: 1981–1991. Washington, DC: The College Board.Google Scholar
  14. Eckland, B. K., and Henderson, L. B. (1981).College Attainment Four Years After High School. Report prepared for the National Center for Educational Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute.Google Scholar
  15. El-Khawas, E. (1990).Campus Trends: 1990. Higher Education Panel Reports, Number 80, July. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  16. Fetters, W., Stowe, P., and Owings, J. (1984).Quality of Responses of High School Students to Questionnaire Items. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  17. Hanushek, E. A., and Jackson, J. A. (1977).Statistical Methods for Social Scientists. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  18. Harrell, F. E. (1986). The LOGIST procedure. InSUGI: Supplemental Library Users Guide, Version 5 Edition, prepared by the SAS Institute, pp. 269–293. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.Google Scholar
  19. Harrell, F. E., and Lee, K. L. (1985). A comparison of the discrimination of discriminant analysis and logistic regression under conditions of multivariate normality. In P. K. Sen (ed.),Biostatistics: Statistics in Biomedical, Public Health, and Environmental Sciences, pp. 333–343. New York: North Holland for Elsevier Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  20. Hearn, J. C. (1988). Determinants of postsecondary attendance: Some implications of alternative specifications of enrollment.Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 10(2): 172–185.Google Scholar
  21. Hearn, J. C. (1990). Pathways to attendance at the elite colleges. In P. W. Kingston and L. S. Lewis (eds.),The High-Status Track: Studies of Elite Schools and Stratification, pp. 121–145. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  22. Hearn, J. C. (1991). Academic and non-academic influences on the college destinations of 1980 high-school graduates.Sociology of Education 63(4):158–171.Google Scholar
  23. Hossler, D., Braxton, J., and Coopersmith, G. (1989). Understanding student college choice. In J. C. Smart (ed.),Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, vol. 5, pp. 231–288. New York: Agathon.Google Scholar
  24. Jackson, G. A. (1978). Financial aid and student enrollment.Journal of Higher Education 49(6):548–574.Google Scholar
  25. Jackson, G. A. (1981). Linear analysis of logistic choices, and vice versa. Paper presented to the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  26. Jencks, C., et al. (1979).Who Gets Ahead? New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  27. Karabel, J., and Astin, A. W. (1975). Social class, academic ability, and college “quality.”Social Forces 53:381–398.Google Scholar
  28. Kolstad, A. (1981). What college dropin and dropout rates tell us.American Education 17: 31–33.Google Scholar
  29. Lewis, D. R., Hearn, J. C., and Zilbert, E. E. (forthcoming). Efficiency and equity effects of vocationally focused postsecondary education.Sociology of Education.Google Scholar
  30. Manski, C. F., and Wise, D. A. (1983).College Choice in America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Marini, M. M. (1984). The order of events in the transition to adulthood.Sociology of Education 57: 63–84.Google Scholar
  32. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (1983).Data Base Documentation for Institutional Characteristics of Colleges and Universities, 1980–81 (IC Survey HEGIS XV). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  33. National Opinion Research Center (NORC). (1983).Contractor Report, High School and Beyond, 1980 Senior Cohort First Follow-up (1982), Data File User's Manual. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  34. Paulsen, Michael B. (1990).College Choice: Understanding Student Enrollment Behavior. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 6. Washington, DC: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development.Google Scholar
  35. Pascarella, E. T., and Terenzini, P. T. (1991).How College Affects Students. San Francisco. Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  36. Pavel, M. D., and Reiser, M. (1991). Using national data bases to examine minority student success in higher education. In C. S. Lenth (ed.),Using National Data Bases. New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 69, pp. 5–20. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  37. Peng, S. S., Bailey, J. P., Jr., and Eckland, B. K. (1977). Access to higher education: Results from the National Longitudinal Study of the high school class of 1972.Educational Researcher 6: 3–7.Google Scholar
  38. Pincus, F. L. (1980). The false promises of community colleges: Class conflict and vocational education.Harvard Educational Review 50(3):332–360.Google Scholar
  39. Press, S. J., and Wilson, S. (1978). Choosing between logistic regression and discriminant analysis.Journal of the American Statistical Association 73: 364, 699–705.Google Scholar
  40. Sewell, W. H., and Hauser, R. M. (1980). The Wisconsin longitudinal study of social and psychological factors in aspirations and achievement. In A. Kerckhoff (ed.),Research in Sociology of Education and Socialization, vol. 1, pp. 59–99. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  41. Smart, J. C. (1986). College effects on occupational status attainment.Research in Higher Education 24(1): 73–95.Google Scholar
  42. Solmon, L. (1975). The definition of college quality and its impact on earnings.Explorations in Economic Research 2: 537–587.Google Scholar
  43. Stage, F. K., and Hossler, D. (1989). Differences in family influences on college attendance plans for male and female ninth graders.Research in Higher Education 30(3): 301–315.Google Scholar
  44. St. John, E. P., and Noell, J. (1989). The effects of student financial aid on access to higher education: An analysis of progress with special consideration of minority enrollment.Research in Higher Education 30(6): 563–581.Google Scholar
  45. Thomas, G. E., Alexander, K. L., and Eckland, B. K. (1979). Access to higher education: The importance of race, sex, social class, and academic credentials.School Review 87: 133–156.Google Scholar
  46. Tinto, V. (1980). College origins and patterns of status attainment.Sociology of Work and Occupations 7: 457–486.Google Scholar
  47. Tinto, V. (1987).Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  48. U.S. Department of Education (1990).The Condition of Education. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  49. U.S. Department of Education (1992a).Projections of Education Statistics to 2002. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  50. U.S. Department of Education (1992b).The Way We Are—The Community College as American Thermometer. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Hearn
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Higher EducationUniversity of GeorgiaAthens

Personalised recommendations