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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

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Postsecondary Opportunity and Choice: Factors Influencing the Attendance Decisions of Minnesota Students.

Hearn, James C., Karen Zentner Bacig, and Robert K. Poch.

Minnesota has one of the most generous state student aid programs in the nation. According to the authors, however, the changing educational and economic climates in the state have produced a need to reexamine this longstanding and much-praised effort. Specifically, they argue that policy makers must consider whether current expectations regarding students' and families' contributions to college expenses are reasonable, and whether current policies allow students to attend their preferred institutions in their preferred way. The authors provide an overview of the financing of postsecondary education in Minnesota, discuss the results of focus groups and interviews conducted with students and educational leaders on the topics of financing and choice in higher education, and offer policy recommendations based on their analysis. The authors conclude that cost and financing are not the most important aspects of decisions regarding college attendance for most students, and that disseminating postsecondary education information, involving key high school personnel, and reaching out to parents are likely to be the most important potential interventions. These interventions, in turn, may provide a context for cost and financing information to become more salient factors in the decision making process.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
Supported by a grant from CURA's Program for Interactive Research.
32 (2): 16-21.
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 32 (2)

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