Year of Award
Dissertation - Campus Access Only
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Department or School/College
College of Education and Human Sciences
William P. McCaw
John Matt, Frances O’Reilly, Nathan Lindsay, Ivan Lorentzen
community college, completion, scholarships, student debt, student risk factors
University of Montana
This quantitative, nonexperimental, expo-facto study examined the relationship of student risk factors and completion or noncompletion of degrees and certificates for first time students who took out loans to pay for college in the fall of 2011 at three rural community colleges, comprising all community colleges in a rural state. Archival student data was tracked from fall 2011 to spring 2016. Because the study assessed the relationship between several predictor (independent) variables and one criterion (dependent) variable and the outcome was binary, completion (1) or noncompletion (0), a logistic regression was utilized to address the research question, What is the relationship between student risk factors and completion for students with debt at three rural community colleges? This study was nonexperimental, therefore no attempt was made to establish a cause and effect relationship. Rather, relationships were analyzed.
The independent variables in this study were student factors found in the literature as being associated with completion or noncompletion of degrees and certificates: (a) amount of student debt in increments of $1,000, (b) college GPA, (c) credits per semester, (d) developmental courses, (e) private scholarship, (f) Pell grants, (g) age, (h) gender, (i) race, (j) campus attended, and (k) loans and scholarship combined.
The binomial dependent variable in this study was completion or noncompletion of degrees and certificates at community colleges. Completion was defined as any student exiting the institution with a credential (degree or certificate). Noncompletion was defined as any student exiting the institution without a credential (a degree or certificate).
Four independent variables in the study were shown to be statistically significant in their relationship to completion: (a) a $1,000 increase in federal loans, (b) college GPA, (c) credits per semester, and (d) private scholarships.
Unterreiner, Colleen Sweeney, "THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STUDENT RISK FACTORS AND COMPLETION FOR STUDENTS WITH DEBT AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES" (2018). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11162.
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© Copyright 2018 Colleen Sweeney Unterreiner