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National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Publication Details

Earning and learning: Reasons students attend college


Author(s): Arboleda, A., Chen, J., Shelley, M.C., II, & Whalen, D. F.

Citation: Arboleda, A., Chen, J., Shelley, M.C., II, & Whalen, D. F. (2004). Earning and learning: Reasons students attend college. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 16(1), 27-59.

 

Abstract

Linear models of two of the most salient motivations for undergraduates to attend college--learning (intrinsic) and enhanced post-graduation earnings (extrinsic)--are estimated from a sample of 2,199 respondents to the 2000 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) survey of first-year students, supplemented by institutional records. Model results, using composite variables derived from exploratory factor analysis, emphasize that women are more motivated to attend college to learn than men. Implications are drawn regarding student development and higher education administration, focusing on the need to use different teaching approaches for students with different goals.

 

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