Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1996


This study examined an aspect of enrollment management at a private liberal arts college. Factors related to enrollment decisions of students accepted for admission to Milligan College were analyzed by comparing two groups: matriculants and nonmatriculants. The population consisted of 438 traditional-age applicants for the 1995 fall semester. Data were collected from the application for admission, financial aid application, and a survey instrument designed to obtain information relative to influences on the enrollment decision. The Purposes of the research were to determine if significant differences existed between the two groups and to identify the characteristics of the students most likely to enroll at the college. Analyses were conducted by calculating measures of central tendency, the chi-square test of significance, the independent t-test for equality of means, and multiple linear regression. Among the variables considered were financial aid resources, academic achievement, distance from the campus, church affiliation, attendance by relatives, and campus visit. Subjects were also asked an open-ended question on the survey regarding the primary reasons for their decisions. Major findings revealed significant differences between matriculants and nonmatriculants with respect to completion of the financial aid award process, church affiliation, scholarships and grants received, ACT scores, and campus visit. The survey respondents identified as primary reasons for a decision to enroll, the Christian atmosphere, programs of study available, and quality academics. Primary reasons for a decision not to enroll included, distance from the college, high cost, and the desired program of study was not available. Based on the results of the research the following recommendations were made. Steps should be taken to ensure completion of the financial aid award process is a high priority for all applicants. Scholarships and grants should be awarded at the optimum level for each qualified applicant. Recruiting efforts should focus on those areas, geographically and demographically, in which the prospects who are most likely to enroll can be identified, based on selected characteristics.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted