The relationship between African American high school students' desire to attend college, their perceived likelihood to attend college and actual college entrollment
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African American students continue to be an underrepresented population in institutions of higher education. This study uses Mickelson’s Attitude-Achievement Paradox to explain the effect of individual and contextual SES, students’ sense of belonging, achievement and engagement on student’s desire to attend college and perceived likelihood of attending college and eventual college enrollment. Using waves I and III of the Adolescent Health dataset, the researcher explores how SES and individual high school experiences impact the desire and perceived likelihood of college enrollment and actual college enrollment for 1775 African American 9-11th grade students. Multi-level model analysis showed that individual and contextual SES and students’ high school experiences were more strongly related to perceived likelihood of attending college than to desire and that these variables also predicted actual college attendance. Perceived likelihood partially mediated the relationship between desire, SES, belonging, achievement and actual college attendance. These results suggest the importance of encouraging positive high school experiences for African American students, assisting students with locating financial support for college and increasing students’ perception that they are likely to attend college.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix -- Reference list -- Vita