Expanding the Applicant Pool: Exploring the College Decision-Making of Students from Single-Parent Families

By Bateman, Mark; Kennedy, Eugene | College and University, Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

Expanding the Applicant Pool: Exploring the College Decision-Making of Students from Single-Parent Families


Bateman, Mark, Kennedy, Eugene, College and University


Abstract

This article explores factors which predispose students from single- and two-parent families to pursue postsecondary education and identify implications for enrollment managers and researchers. The results of this study indicate that while parents play the most pivotal role for each group of students, mothers are of primary importance for students from single-parent families.

Introduction

Enrollment managers and admissions personnel are under continuous pressure to increase the quality, and in many cases the quantity, of matriculants to their institutions. This pressure has led administrators and policymakers to develop programs that draw matriculants from historically untapped areas of the applicant pool of prospective students. For example, the search for African-American students led to policy development at several levels (including state, federal, and institutional), assisting colleges and universities in the recruitment of this segment of the population. However, there continue to be student groups in the applicant pool that need attention if institutions are to fully explore, recruit, and retain potential students. A particularly important group to address are those students from singleparent families. The lack of attention given to these students has left policymakers and administrators with little information to develop effective and efficient strategies to recruit and retain this important and growing segment of the applicant pool.

According to census data, 25 percent of children in the United States are under the age of 18 and growing up in singleparent homes headed by women-a total of 17 million children (Bureau of the Census 1997). Rawlings and Hernandez (1990) traced the dramatic rise in the number of families headed by single-parent females from 1970 and expect the trend to continue. Research has indicated that these children tend to have lower economic attainment in adulthood than those from two-parent families (Krein 1986). Additionally, students from single-parent families have comparatively low levels of educational attainment and are more likely to experience academic failure and leave school prematurely than is true of children from two-parent families (Hauser and Featherman 1976). In fact, single-parent, female-headed families are often included among lists of disadvantageous traits which put students "at-risk" for a host of negative outcomes (Sartain 1989). According to Krein (1986), living in a single-parent family has a direct negative effect on educational level. In addition, Keith and Finley (1988) found parental divorce was associated with lower levels of educational attainment.

Despite the well documented growth of students from single-parent femaleheaded families and inclusion of these students as at-risk, there is a dearth of literature and research on the postsecondary educational plans of these students. Interestingly, although college choice research has identified parents as critical to the decision making process (Hossler and Stage 1992), students from singleparent families have not been studied. The trends regarding students from single-parent families combined with the role parents play in the college choice process provide the basis for research on the development of educational aspirations of students from single-parent families. Such research will aid enrollment managers in developing effective and efficient policies designed to recruit this growing portion of potential students.

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this study is drawn from two sources, a model of college choice developed by Hossler and Gallagher (1987), and research by Hossler and Stage (1992). Research on college choice has been grounded in economic, sociological, and combined models (Kohn, Manski, and Mundel 1976; Litten 1982; Chapman 1984). This study utilized the Three Stage Model of College Choice by Hossler and Gallagher (1987). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Expanding the Applicant Pool: Exploring the College Decision-Making of Students from Single-Parent Families
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.