Examining the Inclination of Students to Apply to a Postsecondary Institution in Their Senior Year of High School
Steele, Stephanie Lee
This study examines the tendency of twelfth grade students to apply to a postsecondary institution in light of their stated plans as tenth grade students. I have categorized students into three groups based on whether they had aspirations for college in the tenth grade and whether they applied to college in the twelfth grade. The three groups are the shifters (tenth grade aspirations but no twelfth grade application), the sponsored (no tenth grade application but twelfth grade application), and the focused (tenth grade aspirations and twelfth grade application). In this study, I attempt to determine the variables that are contributing most to the differences between these three groups. I also examine the variables that increase the odds of applying to college. While I hypothesized that each group would have a dominant area of influence, my hypotheses were only partially supported. For all students, what I have labeled personal agency-capital variables are contributing most to the variation between the groups. Likewise, the personal agency-capital variables also greatly increase the odds of a student applying to college before leaving high school. Therefore, for students to apply to college in the twelfth grade, they must have the personal achievement and commitment as well as the support and influence from other people.