Preferred Name


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Strategic Leadership Studies


Benjamin S. Selznick


This single institution, quantitative study examined the degree to which remaining unmet financial need affected both 2nd fall and 3rd fall persistence measures at a small, private, religiously affiliated, liberal arts university in the southeastern United States. The purpose of this research was to contribute to the literature on college persistence and explore the complex world of how students finance their college education. A hierarchical logistic regression analysis was used to determine if the control variables (entry year, gender, race/ethnicity) and independent variables (high school GPA (HSGPA) and remaining unmet financial need (RUFN)) were significant contributors to models that predicted both 2nd fall (3rd semester) and 3rd fall (5th semester) persistence. The findings of this study suggest that RUFN was a statistically significant predictor of both 2nd fall and 3rd fall persistence, as was HSGPA. The control variables were all nonsignificant in models that included HSGPA or RUFN. The implications of knowing a student’s RUFN are provided, along with recommendations for future research involving higher education leadership and RUFN.



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