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Title:An evaluation of undergraduate merit scholarships awarded by the University of Illinois College of Agriculture
Author(s):Crinion, Penelope Gebhart
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Langston, Ira
Department / Program:Education, Higher
Discipline:Education, Higher
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Higher
Abstract:Problems of declining undergraduate enrollment and attracting higher ability students to careers in agriculture influenced resources allocated for merit scholarships by the University of Illinois College of Agriculture. This study was designed to examine and evaluate the relationship between the awarding of merit scholarships by that College and the College's undergraduate student enrollment. An examination of enrollment data and students' perceptions related to the awarding of merit scholarships provided a basis for assessing this relationship.
Enrollment data was gathered and compared for the five-year period prior to and the eight-year period following the 1979 initiation of the Jonathan Baldwin Turner Agricultural (JBT) Merit Scholarship program. Analysis of this data does not suggest that a significant positive relationship exists between the awarding of merit scholarships and the (a) total undergraduate enrollment or (b) total freshman higher ability enrollment in the College of Agriculture.
However, when University of Illinois College of Agriculture enrollment maintenance data on a subset of higher ability students were compared (JBT Merit Scholarship recipients versus non-recipients with comparable academic entry qualifications), a significant positive relationship was observed between the awarding of merit scholarships and the enrollment of this subset of higher ability students. Likewise, an examination of these students' perceptions gathered via mail survey suggests that there is a positive relationship between the awarding of merit scholarships and these students' decisions to (a) enroll in the College, (b) enroll in a major field of study related to a career in the food and agricultural industry, and (c) maintain enrollment in the College. Of the 1986 JBT Merit Scholarship recipients 24% who considered enrolling in other institutions and 13.6% who considered majors other than agriculture or home economics-related ones reported merit scholarship receipt to be the marginal factor influencing initial enrollment decisions.
Additional subjective data collected from JBT Merit Scholarship recipients indicates that the articulated benefits of scholarship receipt include (a) financial support, (b) recognition and motivation, (c) interpersonal and social opportunities, (d) college enrollment choices influence, and (e) advanced study and employment opportunities.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Crinion, Penelope Gebhart
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924799
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924799

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