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K300 Group 4

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by

Brett Foster

on 3 May 2010

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Transcript of K300 Group 4

Factors Influencing Undergraduate Decisions to Attend Post-Secondary Education
Bocken, Dillon;
Fiorini, Natalie;
Foster, Brett;
Montgomery, Garrett;
Nisswandt, Kyle;
Nungester, Eric;
Rodgers, Aaron;
Turner, Tasha

School of Public and Environmental Affairs,
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN USA QUESTION & LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Our objective was to design and conduct a survey that would analyze potential factors in an undergraduate student's decision to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Upon completion of the project, we hope to be able to make accurate predictions about an undergraduate's post-education plans given various demographic information. Also, we hope to familiarize ourselves with some more advanced statistical analysis and presentation methods. HYPOTHESIS We predict that there will be no relationship between gender, ethnicity, and religious affiliation and a student's decision to attend graduate school. However, we do hypothesize that there will be a discernible relationship between a students decision to enroll in a graduate school & the student's primary method for financing school, family's annual income, family education level, and academic major. METHODOLOGY We used a combination of online and handwritten surveys that were distributed randomly to the undergraduate population at Indiana University Bloomington. We accumulated a total of 261 responses. RESULTS AND ANALYSIS GENDER RACE/ETHNICITY METHOD OF PAYING FOR SCHOOL FAMILY EDUCATION LEVEL ANNUAL FAMILY INCOME RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION AGE ACADEMIC MAJOR CONCLUSION LIMITATIONS & SOURCES OF ERROR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY Our small sample size of 261 participants limits the accuracy of the data. We would have preferred to have 400 responses, which is still only 1.5% of the IUB undergraduate population.
Our sampling method was not truly random. Not every member of the undergraduate population stood an equal chance of being selected. Our respondents were limited primarily to Facebook friends within 3 degrees of separation and classmates. The distinction between graduate school and other forms of post-secondary education was assumed to be understood and not made clear in the survey. This could potentially have caused some confusion among the participants.
Some participants could not provide an accurate idea of their family's annual income, leaving some gaps in our data.
We did not differentiate between the levels of certainty for attending graduate school. A yes/no response provides limited accuracy, but kept the analysis within the scope of this course.
Questions There is the potential for multiple internal realtionships within our data. Further analysis done with more advanced statistical methods could reveal relationships between various questions. For example, does the family's annual income combined with the method of financing school have a connection to the student's decision to attend graduate school? Our limited sample size of 261 decreases the accuracy of our results for obvious reasons. we would have preferred to have 400 responses, but even then, that still only represents 1.5% of the IU-Bloomington Undergraduate population.
Our sampling method was not truly random - the entire undergraduate student body did not have an equal chance of being selected, since contacts were limited primarily to classmates, floormates, and Facebook friends within 2 degrees of separation. The distinction between graduate school and other forms of post-secondary education was assumed to be understood by the participants, but lack of clarification could have resulted in some confusion.
Some participants could not provide an accurate idea of their family's annual income, leaving some gaps in our data.
We did not differentiate between the levels of certainty for attending graduate school - a yes/no response provides limited representation of a participants actual plans.
There are outliers in various categories, and are particuarly obvious in Family Income and Age.
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