A study of certain causal factors in interstate migration of college students

Date

1937

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Briefly stated, the problem here attacked is the determination of the relationship existing between (1) the number of interstate students in an institution, and (2) eight other selected factors that have been advanced as causes of interstate migration. Students who do not leave their home states to attend college do not enter into the study. The question at issue is not why students leave their home states, but why those leaving enroll in greater numbers in some institutions than in others. The eight factors selected for study are (1) the size of the institution, as indicated by the total enrollment; (2) the age of the institution; (3) the rating of the faculty; (4) the proximity of the out-of-state students; (5) instructional costs, as shown by tuition charged out-of-state students; (6) the extent of the curriculum, as indicated by the size of the faculty; (7) the anticipated annual income of the institution; and (8) the national ranking of the institution in football. College catalogues, principally, furnished, the source materials for the study. The statistical data contained in the official publications have been accepted as the best material available. In several cases needed information was obtained directly from officials of the various institutions studied. Many other sources of data have been tapped, including all the available studies of the subject, the publications of the United States Office of Education, educational surveys, and standard works of reference. The methods employed were simple enough in principle, although many difficulties were encountered in their application. Thirty-two institutions, well distributed as to location, size, and type of control, were selected for the central study. A larger number was impractical, since data on two of the selected factors were available only in the form of rankings, which circumstance made the use of rank-difference correlation techniques imperative. The enrollment data were analyzed in order to determine the total enrollments for the academic year 1934-35, the number of interstate students in each institution, and the states from which they came. By methods more fully explained in subsequent chapters, rankings were obtained for each institution in each of the eight factors already listed. Correlations were obtained between these rankings and those for the critical factor, interstate enrollment. Wherever possible, these preliminary comparisons have been supplemented by the introduction of data not confined to the basal list of thirty-two institutions. Then, through a modified application of partial and multiple correlation, the eight factors were ranked for their degree of association with interstate enrollment. Care was employed not to introduce statistical refinements unwarranted in the situation, and not to claim more reliability or significance for the obtained results than was justified by the regularity of the original body of data and the fineness of the methods employed in treating it

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