Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities

Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities

by William G. Bowen
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691149909

ISBN-13: 9780691149905

Pub. Date: 02/21/2011

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The United States has long been a model for accessible, affordable education, as exemplified by the country's public universities. And yet less than 60 percent of the students entering American universities today are graduating. Why is this happening, and what can be done? Crossing the Finish Line provides the most detailed exploration ever of college

Overview

The United States has long been a model for accessible, affordable education, as exemplified by the country's public universities. And yet less than 60 percent of the students entering American universities today are graduating. Why is this happening, and what can be done? Crossing the Finish Line provides the most detailed exploration ever of college completion at America's public universities. This groundbreaking book sheds light on such serious issues as dropout rates linked to race, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Probing graduation rates at twenty-one flagship public universities and four statewide systems of public higher education, the authors focus on the progress of students in the entering class of 1999—from entry to graduation, transfer, or withdrawal. They examine the effects of parental education, family income, race and gender, high school grades, test scores, financial aid, and characteristics of universities attended (especially their selectivity). The conclusions are compelling: minority students and students from poor families have markedly lower graduation rates—and take longer to earn degrees—even when other variables are taken into account. Noting the strong performance of transfer students and the effects of financial constraints on student retention, the authors call for improved transfer and financial aid policies, and suggest ways of improving the sorting processes that match students to institutions.

An outstanding combination of evidence and analysis, Crossing the Finish Line should be read by everyone who cares about the nation's higher education system.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691149905
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
02/21/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,187,801
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface xiii
Chapter 1. Educational Attainment: Overall Trends, Disparities, and the Public Universities We Study 1
Chapter 2. Bachelor's Degree Attainment on a National Level 20
Chapter 3. Finishing College at Public Universities 32
Chapter 4. Fields of Study, Time-to-Degree, and College Grades 57
Chapter 5. High Schools and "Undermatching" 87
Chapter 6. Test Scores and High School Grades as Predictors 112
Chapter 7. Transfer Students and the Path from Two-Year to Four-Year Colleges 134
Chapter 8. Financial Aid and Pricing on a National Level 149
Chapter 9. Financial Aid at Public Universities 166
Chapter 10. Institutional Selectivity and Institutional Effects 192
Chapter 11. Target Populations 207
Chapter 12. Looking Ahead 223
Appendix A. The Modern Evolution of America's Flagship Universities by Eugene M. Tobin
239
Notes 265
List of Figures 337
List of Tables 347
List of Appendix Tables 349
References 357
Index 377

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