If and When Money Matters: The Relationships among Educational Expenditures, Student Engagement, and Students' Learning Outcomes

If and When Money Matters: The Relationships among Educational Expenditures, Student Engagement, and Students' Learning Outcomes

Issue/Topic: Finance--Does Money Matter?; Postsecondary Finance--Efficiency/Performance-Based Funding
Author(s): Ethington, Corinna; Kuh, George; McCormick, Alexander; Pike, Gary; Smart, John
Organization(s): Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis; University of Indiana; University of Memphis
Publication: Research in Higher Education
Published On: 9/18/2010

Past research on expenditures and college outcomes has been characterized by weak and contradictory findings. Surprising little is known about whether and how "money matters" to desired outcomes of college. It seems reasonable to expect that combined expenditures for instruction, academic support, student services, and institution support would be positively and directly related to student engagement, but indirectly related to student learning.

To examine the relationships among educational expenditures, student engagement and learning outcomes for first-year students and seniors.


Policy Implications/Recommendations:

For full study: http://www.springerlink.com/content/k525r83351p722g4/

Research Design:
Data from the 2004 administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), institutional data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Board.

34,823 first-year students and 34,606 seniors attending 171 public colleges and universities

Year data is from:


Data Collection and Analysis:
Self-reports form the basis for many of the measures used in this research. Student learning outcomes were represented by two scales: cognitive gains and non-cognitive gains.

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