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

Margaret F. Sloan

Dary Erwin


This study explored how university expenditures differently impact attainment of enrolled students at regional public universities in the United States. Research of this nature is vital with an increasing number of professions requiring a postsecondary education and the unmistakable personal, social, and economic benefits of postsecondary attainment. The purpose of this study was to add to the expenditure literature by focusing strictly on regional public universities, who tend to be more understudied and undervalued compared to the more affluent and prestigious 4-year institutions (McClure et al., 2020). Two separate hierarchical/sequential multiple regression analyses using block-wise entry were utilized to examine the relationship between the different functional expenditure areas and 4- and 6-year graduation rates, after accounting for entry characteristics (race, gender, selectivity, and SES). From there, model and parameter estimates were compared between the 4- and 6-year models to explore the differing impact of entry characteristics and expenditures on 4- and 6-year graduation rates. Results indicated that selectivity, gender, and SES were significant predictors for both the 4- and 6-year criterion, while race was only statistically significant for the 4-year criterion. The only expenditures to reach significance were institutional expenditures and public service expenditures. As expected, instructional expenditures were positively related to graduation rates, while public service expenditures were negatively associated with graduation rates. Implications for understanding how entry characteristics and university expenditures impact student outputs are discussed.



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