Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Bethany H. Flora

Committee Members

William Flora, James Lampley, Brian Noland


The purpose of this correlational study was to explore the relationship between the new statewide two-year financial aid program, Tennessee Promise, and college choice among high school seniors in four counties in upper Northeast Tennessee. Independent variables included GPA, concern about ability to pay for college, and plans to attend a two-year or four-year institution. The dependent variables were scored on three dimensions: cost factors, social factors, and academic factors relating to college choice. Additionally, respondents reported perceptions of Tennessee Promise related to college choice. A 22-item survey was administered to high school seniors from four counties in upper Northeast Tennessee in Spring 2017. There were 294 completed surveys, resulting in a 33% response rate. The financial nexus concept was used as the conceptual framework for the study to explore how perceived affordability influenced college choice.

Descriptive statistics, independent-samples t-tests, crosstabulations and one-sample chi-square tests were applied to determine whether a relationship exists between Tennessee Promise and college choice and choice of institution for students concerned with the cost of higher education.

Tennessee Promise significantly impacted the decision to attend college and what type of institution to attend. Respondents’ level of concern about ability to pay was shown to have a significant relationship to the type of institution they planned to attend. Additionally, there was a significant relationship between level of concern about ability to pay and the choice to accept Tennessee Promise.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.