Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
admission, enrollment, financial aid, college
This study examines why some admitted students decide to enroll at Union College while others go elsewhere. I use data on nearly nine thousand first-time full-time regular decision applicants admitted to Union starting in the academic years beginning in the Fall 2009 through Fall 2013. There are significant differences between students who enroll at Union and those who enroll elsewhere. First, since Union's financial aid fully meets students’ financial needs, students with large financial need are much more likely to enroll at Union than students with smaller financial need or no financial need. For example, controlling for demographic and academic variables, students with financial need of 75 percent or more of Union's annual cost of attendance are more than twice as likely to enroll than students who do not require any financial aid. Second, since academically stronger students are likely to also have been admitted to other selective colleges, the students who enroll at Union have SAT scores that are about four percent lower than students who go elsewhere. Third, students who do not submit their SAT scores to Union are about seven percentage points more likely to enroll than those who do. This is true even after controlling for high school GPA. Fourth, privately-schooled students are less likely to enroll than publically schooled students and students from outside the North East and New York are less likely to enroll than students from New York. Again, these effects persist even after controlling for high school GPA. Fifth, since qualified minority students are likely to have other post-secondary educational options, controlling for financial need, black and Latino students are less likely to enroll than white students. Finally, Union's program to attract highly qualified students (the Union Scholars Program) does not appear effective. Controlling for demographic and academic variables, students with a Union Scholars designation are no more likely to enroll than students without a Scholars designation. Overall, the results suggest that Union faces a competitive market for students where price (financial aid boosts enrollment) and perceived quality (stronger students enrolling at more selective schools) matter.
Ziac, Catherine, "Enrollment Yield at Union College 2014" (2014). Honors Theses and Student Projects. 618.