An analysis of factors that influence matriculation at the masters level

Rona D Rosenberg, University of Pennsylvania


This study examined the attributes that influenced masters' students to matriculate or not matriculate at a specific school using an individual choice behavior model. Information based on program admissions for the summer and fall term of one academic year from The Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania was used for this study. Of the applicants who sent back questionnaires, only 5.48% who were admitted to other elite schools matriculated at GSE; and, 37.14% who were admitted to non-elite schools attended GSE. The results of the questionnaires were analyzed using a binary logit model using two groups: those admitted to GSE and other elite schools; and those admitted to GSE and non-elite schools. Further analysis was performed to determine the 'goodness of fit' of the model. The results for the binary logistic regression analysis for the applicants admitted to GSE and other elite schools showed none of the independent variables to be significantly related to the probability that an applicant would matriculate at either school. The two highest reasons this group gave for not matriculating at GSE were program and financial aid. Only 6 out of 73 applicants matriculated at a school which was lower ranked than GSE. And, although the self-reporting information was incomplete, those who did report financial benefits from other elite schools reported scholarship amounts double the amount GSE offered. The results for the applicants to GSE and other non-elite schools showed the only variable to be significant were the GRE scores. The higher the GRE score the less likely the applicant was to matriculate at GSE. Although more than half of the applicants did not give a reason for their decision, 35% answered it was for financial reasons. These results suggest that applicants are making decisions based on school rankings and financial aid. In order to remain competitive and increase matriculation yield, GSE will need to obtain and analyze more information regarding financial aid packages at other elite and non-elite schools and adjust its financial aid packages accordingly.

Subject Area

School administration|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Rosenberg, Rona D, "An analysis of factors that influence matriculation at the masters level" (2008). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3310486.