Access for Whom? Examining Poor and Ethnic-minority Student Access at the Public Flagships

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Virginia Tech

As a result of increasing college costs and diminishing organizational support, poor and ethnic-minority students are finding it increasingly difficult to attend large public research universities. To investigate the potential relationship that exists between market-oriented practices in higher education and access for poor and ethnic-minority students, the Institutional Logics Perspective is employed as a theoretical frame to contextualize the precursors, content, and consequences of the market logic in the public higher education system. Hypotheses drawing out linkages between the mechanisms of the market logic and decreased student access are offered. A fixed-effect model is then constructed to evaluate proposed connections between university practices undergirded by the logic and access for both poor and ethnic-minority student populations. Results are discussed and the ramifications of the market logic for the future of accessible public higher education are explored in the context of social justice.

Education, Higher, Economics, Institutions