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A cross-case analysis of college enrollment strategies in two New York City public schools serving low-income students

By Aviva Hirschfeld Legatt


This study sought to understand how college enrollment strategies function within two particular school environments, given that schools serve an essential function in preparing students for postsecondary plans (Ballantine & Spade, 2015). When compared to New York City public school averages, the two case study schools are exceptional in that they demonstrate very high rates of college-going among low-income and minority students. Using constant comparative analysis and a multiple case approach, this study found that the schools achieved high rates of college enrollment through taking a responsibility-centered approach to guiding students toward college options and the college and financial aid application processes; through cultivating a college-going culture within the schools; and through leveraging external resources available through affiliated nonprofit and for-profit organizations. In order to achieve these high rates of college enrollment, the schools used purposeful college enrollment strategies to positively impact rates of college attendance (Bettinger et al., 2007; Engberg & Wolniak, 2010, p. 27; Gladieux, 2004; Hill, 2008; Holland & Farmer-Hinton, 2009; McDonough, 1997; Perna et al., 2008a; Terenzini, Cabrera, & Bernal, 2001). These college enrollment strategies emphasized student attendance at higher education institutions that require low out-of-pocket costs. Findings suggest an important relationship between school-based college enrollment strategies and college enrollment outcomes

Topics: Educational leadership|Organizational behavior|Higher education
Publisher: ScholarlyCommons
Year: 2015
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Provided by: ScholarlyCommons@Penn
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