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Title:Disparate impact? An explorative review of recent changes in federal financial aid and its impact on minority college student enrollment trends
Author(s):Kyle, LaShondra Tynea
Director of Research:Anderson, James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Anderson, James
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Alexander, Samuel; Trent, William; Span, Christopher
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):minority college enrollment
enrollment trends
financial aid
minority student financial aid
minority college student
minority college enrollment trends
federal financial aid policies
financial aid policies
Abstract:A discussion has begun around this country regarding educational access for all, overall declining enrollment at institutions of higher learning, and the impact of seemingly race-neutral Federal Financial Aid laws on the rate of declining enrollment. Scholars and legislators have just begun to discuss the discriminatory effect, intentional or not, that these laws may cause for students, and may thus impact on the enrollment rates. At of the time of this dissertation, which began in August of 2012 and concluded in January of 2017, there had not yet been a significant study focusing on this area of research in education, and especially not one that used case law and other legal research to investigate this issue in particular. Thus, this dissertation, the first in-depth study of its kind, is significant for that reason alone. This dissertation has the purpose of exploring case law, legislation, and statutes as they relate to the growing educational debate; investigating journal articles and public outcry over these laws; and reviewing what could be a major setback in America for minorities seeking access to a higher education. It could also be a major blow to public institutions, especially those minority serving institutions, like Historically Black Colleges and Universities (‘HBCUs’) that depend greatly on financial assistance from the federal government to operate their colleges and universities. This dissertation provides information that educators, legislators, parents, and students can use to improve the state of declining enrollment in higher education for minority students based on loss of financial resources so imperative to this student population’s access to higher education. It seeks to educate the reader, explore the finding of these issues, and review the outcomes of the findings. The significance of its findings can be used by policymakers to create or revise current Federal Financial Aid policies, by educators to continue the discourse of diversity and financial needs of the academy for the student and for the university, and by parents and students to strive toward continual and improved access, not denial, of educational fulfillment and career goals that higher education can provide for years to come. The study found that there is indeed a need for a more in-depth study of the cause and effect of what appears to lead to a conclusion that there has been a disparate impact, a practice or policy that has a disproportionately discriminatory adverse effect on a protected class, on minority students in higher education that has occurred because of the economic disparity resulting from the changes in Title IV financial aid. This economic disparity is one of the catalysts that has contributed to the declining enrollment of minority students at colleges and universities. Furthermore, the declining enrollment has resulted in an adverse financial effect, with such a huge adverse financial effect on some that they have closed for business or are near closing. American institutions of higher education are now needing to develop and implement innovative strategic recruiting plans for new students as well as offer creative financial incentives to students, including increased scholarship money, sliding scale and/or tuition-free options in order to reverse this declining enrollment. This study also found that those colleges and universities that are able to make these adjustments to this disparate impact on minority student declining enrollment will have the best chance of reversing this trend and ultimately thriving, or at least surviving. The author presents recommendations for action and areas for future research.
Issue Date:2018-04-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 LaShondra Kyle
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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