Brian A. :Young


Cohen, Michael

Committee Member

Morgan, Thomas

Committee Member

Cieminski, Amie

Committee Member

Hutchinson, Susan


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Leadership, Policy and Development: Higher Education and P–12 Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



156 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not socioeconomic status (SES) influenced high school students’ plans for continuing their learning after high school. This study collected data via an online survey and a sample size of 343 participants from three comprehensive public high schools. A hierarchical logistic regression was conducted and found to be statistically significant. The variables of gender, race, and SES were found not to be significant predictors of having a postsecondary plan, but grade point average (GPA) was a significant predictor. The results failed to reject the null hypothesis, meaning household SES was not a significant predictor of having a postsecondary plan. This study also aimed to identify what factors influenced students in making their postsecondary decisions through a profile analysis using a repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results from the repeated measures ANOVA indicate a significant difference in the mean responses for the different barriers and for the different barriers based on SES. The barriers of affordability, the ability to apply, the expectation of success, worry about fitting in, and parental experiences and expectations, all showed significant differences. Responses to four open-ended questions identified financial influences, family influences, and self-interests as influencing the participants’ postsecondary decisions. The intent of this study was to help school and school district leaders better understand how to support students, especially those from low-SES households, in planning for postsecondary learning.

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Copyright is held by the author.